Gunshot residue preservation in seawater

Anne-Christine Lindstrom, Jurian HOOGEWERFF, Josie Athens, Zuzana Obertova, Warwick Duncan, Neil Waddell, Jules Kieser

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    6 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Little is known about the persistence of gunshot residue (GSR) in soft tissue and bones during decomposition in marine environments. For a better understanding, qualitative and quantitative data were obtained on GSR retention on soft tissue and bony gunshot wounds (GSWs). A quantity of 36 fleshed and 36 defleshed bovine ribs were shot at contact range with 0.22 calibre hollow point ammunition using a Stirling 0.22 calibre long rifle. Bone specimens in triplicate were placed in three environments: submerged, intertidal and in supralittoral zone. Sets of triplicates were recovered on day 3, 10, 24 and 38, and analysed with scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (SEM-EDX), and inductive coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The SEM-EDX recorded GSR-indicative particles surrounding the bullet entrance on all bone types (fleshed and defleshed) in all environments throughout the study. GSR-unique particles were only detected on the supralittoral bones. The ICP-MS analysis showed faster GSR loss on submerged than intertidal and supralittoral defleshed specimens. Fleshed specimens showed a faster GSR loss on intertidal than submerged and supralittoral specimens. In conclusion, the GSR disappeared faster from submerged and intertidal than non-submerged specimens. The difference of detection of GSR between analysed specimens (defleshed versus fleshed) disappeared upon defleshing. This study highlights the potential of finding evidence of GSR in a submerged body and the potential of microscopic and analytical methods for examining suspected GSW in highly decomposed bodies in marine habitats.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)103-111
    Number of pages9
    JournalForensic Science International
    Volume253
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015

    Fingerprint

    Seawater
    X-Ray Emission Spectrometry
    Bone and Bones
    Gunshot Wounds
    Electron Scanning Microscopy
    Mass Spectrometry
    Firearms
    Ribs
    Ecosystem

    Cite this

    Lindstrom, A-C., HOOGEWERFF, J., Athens, J., Obertova, Z., Duncan, W., Waddell, N., & Kieser, J. (2015). Gunshot residue preservation in seawater. Forensic Science International, 253, 103-111. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2015.05.021
    Lindstrom, Anne-Christine ; HOOGEWERFF, Jurian ; Athens, Josie ; Obertova, Zuzana ; Duncan, Warwick ; Waddell, Neil ; Kieser, Jules. / Gunshot residue preservation in seawater. In: Forensic Science International. 2015 ; Vol. 253. pp. 103-111.
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    abstract = "Little is known about the persistence of gunshot residue (GSR) in soft tissue and bones during decomposition in marine environments. For a better understanding, qualitative and quantitative data were obtained on GSR retention on soft tissue and bony gunshot wounds (GSWs). A quantity of 36 fleshed and 36 defleshed bovine ribs were shot at contact range with 0.22 calibre hollow point ammunition using a Stirling 0.22 calibre long rifle. Bone specimens in triplicate were placed in three environments: submerged, intertidal and in supralittoral zone. Sets of triplicates were recovered on day 3, 10, 24 and 38, and analysed with scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (SEM-EDX), and inductive coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The SEM-EDX recorded GSR-indicative particles surrounding the bullet entrance on all bone types (fleshed and defleshed) in all environments throughout the study. GSR-unique particles were only detected on the supralittoral bones. The ICP-MS analysis showed faster GSR loss on submerged than intertidal and supralittoral defleshed specimens. Fleshed specimens showed a faster GSR loss on intertidal than submerged and supralittoral specimens. In conclusion, the GSR disappeared faster from submerged and intertidal than non-submerged specimens. The difference of detection of GSR between analysed specimens (defleshed versus fleshed) disappeared upon defleshing. This study highlights the potential of finding evidence of GSR in a submerged body and the potential of microscopic and analytical methods for examining suspected GSW in highly decomposed bodies in marine habitats.",
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    Lindstrom, A-C, HOOGEWERFF, J, Athens, J, Obertova, Z, Duncan, W, Waddell, N & Kieser, J 2015, 'Gunshot residue preservation in seawater', Forensic Science International, vol. 253, pp. 103-111. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2015.05.021

    Gunshot residue preservation in seawater. / Lindstrom, Anne-Christine; HOOGEWERFF, Jurian; Athens, Josie; Obertova, Zuzana; Duncan, Warwick; Waddell, Neil; Kieser, Jules.

    In: Forensic Science International, Vol. 253, 08.2015, p. 103-111.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    AU - Lindstrom, Anne-Christine

    AU - HOOGEWERFF, Jurian

    AU - Athens, Josie

    AU - Obertova, Zuzana

    AU - Duncan, Warwick

    AU - Waddell, Neil

    AU - Kieser, Jules

    N1 - Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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    N2 - Little is known about the persistence of gunshot residue (GSR) in soft tissue and bones during decomposition in marine environments. For a better understanding, qualitative and quantitative data were obtained on GSR retention on soft tissue and bony gunshot wounds (GSWs). A quantity of 36 fleshed and 36 defleshed bovine ribs were shot at contact range with 0.22 calibre hollow point ammunition using a Stirling 0.22 calibre long rifle. Bone specimens in triplicate were placed in three environments: submerged, intertidal and in supralittoral zone. Sets of triplicates were recovered on day 3, 10, 24 and 38, and analysed with scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (SEM-EDX), and inductive coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The SEM-EDX recorded GSR-indicative particles surrounding the bullet entrance on all bone types (fleshed and defleshed) in all environments throughout the study. GSR-unique particles were only detected on the supralittoral bones. The ICP-MS analysis showed faster GSR loss on submerged than intertidal and supralittoral defleshed specimens. Fleshed specimens showed a faster GSR loss on intertidal than submerged and supralittoral specimens. In conclusion, the GSR disappeared faster from submerged and intertidal than non-submerged specimens. The difference of detection of GSR between analysed specimens (defleshed versus fleshed) disappeared upon defleshing. This study highlights the potential of finding evidence of GSR in a submerged body and the potential of microscopic and analytical methods for examining suspected GSW in highly decomposed bodies in marine habitats.

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    Lindstrom A-C, HOOGEWERFF J, Athens J, Obertova Z, Duncan W, Waddell N et al. Gunshot residue preservation in seawater. Forensic Science International. 2015 Aug;253:103-111. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2015.05.021