Bite Marks


BİTE MARKS

A bitemark can also be thought of as a form of ‘tool mark’ – a term used in forensic science to describe a mark made by an object or implement which can be analysed to provide some information about the characteristics of that which made it.
It is these wounds that carry a high risk of infection, and joint involvement, and must be thoroughly examined and irrigated prior to any definitive treatment.

Bitemarks can provide useful evidence in cases of assault (particularly in cases of Non Accidental Injury (NAI cases) – the evidence is of a comparative nature, and this section will outline the means by which this evidence can be collected and analysed.
Bitemarks may also provide a source of assailant DNA – assessment of these injuries must therefore take place after collection of biological trace evidence, where relevant (Sweet et al 1997).

Areas of the body most likely to bitten during assaults

(Adapted from Knight 1996; Clark 1992; Vale and Noguchi 1983; Freeman et al 2005)

  • Breasts (e.g. sexually motivated assault)
  • Arms
  • Legs
  • Face/ head
  • Abdomen
  • Back
  • Shoulder
  • Buttocks
  • Female genitalia
  • Hands/ fingers
  • Chest
  • Ears/ nose
  • Neck
  • Male genitalia

Read more: http://www.forensicmed.co.uk/wounds/bitemarks/

Sample Bite marks

 I-Introduction

 

Garden City District Attorney’s Office referred to me the bitemark evidence of Case Number 01-29645 through Richard D. DIAL from ABFO in November 1, 2002.

Description of Case:

a. Name of Victim:

b. Case Number:

c. Date of Examination: December 2002, January, February 2003

d. Referring Agency:

e. Person to Contact:

f. Age of Victim: unknown

g. Race of Victim: unknown

h. Sex of Victim: female

i. Name of Examiner: Dr. Huseyin AFSIN, Forensic Odontologist of the State Institute of Forensic Medicine, Turkey

II- Inventory of Evidence Received

a- Injury Evidence

1- One photograph of the injury on the left upper arm

2- One photograph of the injuries on the back

3- Two close-up photographs of arm injury

4- Two close-up photographs of back injuries

5- One CD including the pictures of the pattern injuries

b- Dentition Evidence

1- Three upper jaw plaster models in different colors

2- Three lower jaw plaster models in different colors

III- Analysis of injury evidence

a. The two injuries in skin on the left upper arm  and back have had been caused by contacting teeth (with the lips or tongue) which shows the representational pattern of the oral structures. They are oval patterned injury consisting of two opposing symmetrical, U-shaped arches separated at their bases by open space. Following the periphery of the arches are a series of individual abrasions due to slipping of teeth against skin and reflecting the size, shape, arrangement and distribution of the class characteristics of the contacting surfaces of the human dentition. The third injury at the middle upper back is oval patterned consisting of colored massive contusions containing fused arches separated at their edges.

b. Photographic distortion is present at the evidence photographs received.

c. The features of Photoshop v6.0 were utilised in analysing the injury photograhs.

d.Analitic procedures of injury analysis

1. Anatomic Location of bitemark:

a- Injury on left upper arm

b- Injury on right upper back

c- Injury on middle upper back

2. Surface Contour:

a- curved

b- flat

c- flat

3.Tissue Characteristics:

A- Underlying Structure:

a- muscle

b- bone

c- bone

B- Skin:

a- mobile

b- relatively fixed

c- relatively fixed

4- Shape

a- ovoid

b- ovoid

c- ovoid

 

5- Color

a- dark red

b- dark red

c- red

6- Size

a- ca. 5,5 cm x 5,0 cm

b- ca. 4,1 cm x 3,2 cm

c- ca. 2,5 cm x 1,5 cm

7- Type of Injury

a- abrasion, with petechial haemorrhage at the centre

b- abrasion, with petechial haemorrhage at the centre

c- ecchymosis

8- Other Information

a- linear abrasions due to the movement of teeth towards skin, petechial haemorrhage at the centre due to tongue and lip pressure

b- skin depressions on some points due to teeth pressure, petechial haemorrhage at the centre due to tongue and lip pressure

c- central ecchymosis due to tear of small blood vessels

IV- Description of the Dentition Using the ABFO Bitemark Guidelines

a. Description of the dentitions being compared to the injury

Model-A

Upper Jaw: diastemas between each teeth from tooth number 5 to tooth number 12,teeth number 12 and 13 are rotated towards distal additial buccal tubercule on tooth number 15, teeth number 1 and 16 are missing.

Lower Jaw: diastemas between teeth number 24, 23, 22, 21, 25,26,27,28 diastemas between teeth number 24 and 23 and between teeth number 27 and 28 are extreme, tooth number 20 is rotated towards distal teeth number,17 and 32 are missing

Model-B

Upper Jaw: no diastema, no rotation, mesial corner of clinical crown of tooth  number 7 is broken, number 8 is shorter than tooth number 9, tooth number 14 hangs down as far as it could be seen on the plaster model, teeth number 1 and 16 are not completely grown yet.

Lower Jaw: teeth number 19 and 25 are missing probably tooth number 30 is also missing, but tooth number 31 has taken its place on the dental arch tooth number 17 and 32 are grown completely

Model-C

Upper Jaw: no diastemas, no rotations teeth number 7 and 10 are slightly projecting  teeth number 1 and 16 are missing.

Lower Jaw: tooth number 27 is rotated towards mesialand is slightly projecting teeth number 17 and 32 are missing.

b.Pictures,

c. The bitemark evidence comparison was performed as described in the following lines:

Study casts were prepared corresponding to the master casts as described in ABFO guidelines.

As described in ABFO guidelines, all bitemarks were brought to 1:1 using circular and square techniques in Adobe Photoshop v6.0.

Acetate tracings from models of the suspects were prepared.

Original colored printouts of 1:1  prepared bitemarks were obtained.

With permission from the authorities, plaster model of the upper arms and torso were prepared. Clay   was applied on the surface of the model as much as dermal thickness. Appropriate photographs were taken for each master cast after sample bites were performed.

With permission from the authorities and consent of the relatives of the deceased, sample bites were performed on the upper arm region of the deceased woman in the Mortuary Section of State Institute of Forensic Medicine. The photographs of the resulting injuries were taken appropriately.

Sample bitemarks were created on volunteering live person at regions corresponding to anatomical regions of the injuries of the victim using the three master casts of which the incisive edges were painted with red ink before hand. Informed consent from the volunteers were taken.

d. Universal (Cunningham) numeral system was used in reporting.

Universal (Cunningham) notation

1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8         9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

 R                                                                                         L

32 31 30 29 28 27 26 25         24 23 22 21 20 19 18 17

Permanent Teeth

e.findings in model B:

Clay method:

on the left upper arm:

upper jaw:concordant point 4 teeth,no match 2 teeth,

lower jaw:concordant point 5 teeth,25 is missing,

on the back:

upper jaw:concordant point 5 teeth,

lower jaw:concordant point 5 teeth,25 is missing,

Volunteering live person:

on the left upper arm:

upper jaw:concordant point 6,

lower jaw:concordant point 5 teeth,25 is missing,

on the back:

upper jaw:concordant point 6,

lower jaw:concordant point 5 teeth,25 is missing,

On the woman corpse at the morgue:

on the left upper arm:

upper jaw:concordant point 6,

lower jaw:concordant point 5 teeth,25 is missing,

on the back:

upper jaw:concordant point 5,

lower jaw:concordant point 5 teeth,25 is missing,

Overlay Method:

       on the left upper arm:

upper jaw:concordant point 4,

lower jaw:concordant point 5 teeth,25 is missing,

on the back:

upper jaw:concordant point 5,

lower jaw:concordant point 5 teeth,25 is missing,

Acetate tracings:

  on the left upper arm:

upper jaw:concordant point 4 teeth,no match 2 teeth,

lower jaw:concordant point 5 teeth,25 is missing,

on the back:

upper jaw:concordant point 5 teeth,

lower jaw:concordant point 5 teeth,25 is missing,

V- Comparison procedures

1- Superimposition of the bitemarks created with master casts of the suspects on the clay model with genuine bitemarks  present on the photographs in Adobe PhotoShop.

2-Superimposition of the bitemarks created with master casts of the suspects on volunteering live persons with genuine bitemarks  present on the photographs in Adobe PhotoShop.

3- Superimposition of the bitemarks created with master casts of the suspects on the woman corpse at the morgue with genuine bitemarks  present on the photographs in Adobe PhotoShop.

4-Superimposition of overlays generated from models of suspects with life-size bitemarks  present on the photographs in Adobe PhotoShop.

5-Superimposition of acetate tracings of models of suspects with life-size bitemarks  present on the photographs in Photoshop.

OPINIONS:

a. As a result of the five comparison methods used;

1-  The bitemark on the arm compared with models of suspects;

Model A (not matching):

Maxillary teeth: There are only 3 concordant points

Mandibular teeth: There are only 2 concordant points and the tooth number 25 is

present in the model but missing in the bitemark.

Model B (probable biter):

Maxillary teeth: There are 4 concordant points out of 6, the others not

concordant due to the elastic constitution of the skin.

Mandibular teeth: There are 2 concordant points and the tooth number 25 is missing both in the model and the bitemark.

Model C ( Not matching)

Maxillary teeth: There are only 1 concordant point

Mandibular teeth: There are only 2 concordant points and the tooth number 25 is present in the model but missing in the bitemark.

2- The bitemark on the back compared with models of suspects:

Model A (not matching):

Maxillary teeth: There are only 3 concordant points

Mandibular teeth: There is only 1 concordant point and the tooth number 25 is present

in the model but missing in the bitemark.

Model B (probable biter):

Maxillary teeth: There are 5 concordant points out of 5.

Mandibular teeth: There are all 4 points are concordant and the tooth number 25 is missing both in the model and the bitemark.

Model C ( Not matching)

Maxillary teeth: There are only 1 concordant point

Mandibular teeth: There are only 2 concordant points and the tooth number 25 is present in the model but missing in the bitemark.

3- The bitemark on upper back was not appropriate for comparison.

 

 

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