Abstract

The internal body temperature change in a human body immersed in water post-mortem was studied in regards to variables such as level of immersion and body type/build to determine the effect of water on the temperature change and to better understand the role of the temperature change in estimating time since death. The temperature change was computed by solving the conduction energy equation in three whole-body human models (114.2 kg male, 78.91 kg male, 56.69 kg female) for up to 10 hours post-mortem. Three main comparisons are made regarding the effect of water on body temperature: different environments (air vs. water), various levels of immersion (up to neck vs. pelvis), and the difference between body types. The findings revealed that ambient environment (e.g., air vs water, level of water immersion) may significantly and nonuniformly influence internal body temperature change over time. Further, the internal body temperature change may depend on body type/build.

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