Burn Victim Identified by Maggots on BodySep 30, 2012
by Sara Reardon
When Mexican police found a body in the woods it was burned beyond recognition, it's DNA too damaged to be used for identification. Luckily, investigators were able to extract DNA from elsewhere — the digestive systems of maggots that had been feeding on the body. This is the first time that human DNA from a maggot gut has been analysed in this way to successfully identify a victim in a legal case.
Police suspected that the body was that of a woman who had been abducted 10 weeks earlier because they found her high-school graduation ring near the crime scene. But when forensic investigators failed to obtain a decent DNA sample from any of the body's tissues, they turned to a team of pathologists at the Autonomous Univ. of Nuevo León in San Nicolás, Mexico.
Source: New Scientist