alexa Organophosphate Detection in a Homicide Victim Burned After Death: Deciding the Cause of Death | OMICS International
ISSN: 2161-0495
Journal of Clinical Toxicology

Like us on:

Make the best use of Scientific Research and information from our 700+ peer reviewed, Open Access Journals that operates with the help of 50,000+ Editorial Board Members and esteemed reviewers and 1000+ Scientific associations in Medical, Clinical, Pharmaceutical, Engineering, Technology and Management Fields.
Meet Inspiring Speakers and Experts at our 3000+ Global Conferenceseries Events with over 600+ Conferences, 1200+ Symposiums and 1200+ Workshops on
Medical, Pharma, Engineering, Science, Technology and Business

Organophosphate Detection in a Homicide Victim Burned After Death: Deciding the Cause of Death

Akhgari Maryam1*, Etemadi-Aleagha Afshar2

1Legal Medicine Research Center, Legal Medicine Organization, Tehran, Iran

2Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Amir, Alam Hospital, Tehran, Iran

*Corresponding Author:
Akhgari Maryam
Legal Medicine Research Center
Legal Medicine Organization, Tehran, Iran
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: May 17, 2013; Accepted date: May 20, 2013; Published date: May 21, 2013

Citation: Akhgari M, Etemadi-Aleagha A (2013) Organophosphate Detection in a Homicide Victim Burned After Death: Deciding the Cause of Death. J Clin Toxicol 3:e116. doi: 10.4172/2161-0495.1000e116

Copyright: © 2013 Maryam A. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Visit for more related articles at Journal of Clinical Toxicology


Homicide; Suicide; Forensic toxicology; Forensic cause of death


Poisonings, whether intentional or unintentional, induced by others or self-induced, always have medicolegal implications. Several difficulties come with the detection of homicidal deaths. Presenting signs and symptoms are often misdiagnosed as natural death or suicide, especially if the crime is committed in a friendly environment [1,2]. Thus, an unknown number of homicides go undetected. In this paper, we report our experience with one case in which there was a homicide committed in association with use of large amounts of organophosphates.

Materials and Methods

The body of a 34-year-old woman was brought for post-mortem examination to Legal Medicine Organization of Iran, Tehran to clarify the cause of death. Forensic examinations were performed under the supervision of forensic medicine specialists. The body was burnt totally and no evidence of violence could be detected. For qualitative analysis, Thin-Layer Chromatography (TLC), High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) and Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) techniques were used to screen and confirm the presence of drugs, poisons and opioid alkaloids in biological samples. Forensic toxicology examinations were done on blood, liver, stomach content and bile by GC/MS, HPLC, spectrophotometry.


Carboxy hemoglobin was not found in victim’s blood and burns injuries were postmortem in nature. No coal pigment was observed in the mucosa of the upper airways at autopsy. Sulfotep, ethion and diazinon organophosphates were detected in stomach content not in liver sample by GC/MS instrumentation. Bile sample was positive for trimipramine and phenobarbital. Postmortem burn and absence of carboxy hemoglobin from victim’s blood and unusual evidences in crime scene investigation were favored to put this case in homicidal category. These findings reflect that the victim was already dead at the time of fire. Her husband made a confession to the police soon after her death. He said that during a quarrel with her wife he pressed over her neck and after her death, he poured a gallon of organophosphate pesticide in victim’s mouth and had burnt her body.


Homicidal poisoning involving pesticides has always been rare owing to their disagreeable odor and taste. One of the most difficult tasks in forensic medicine is deciding the cause of death in an unclear or debatable case. Most decision-making difficulties arise when there is a definite or potential causal interaction between evidences in crime scene investigation and circumstantial events. Thus, care should be taken when interpreting positive analytical toxicology results.


Select your language of interest to view the total content in your interested language
Post your comment

Share This Article

Relevant Topics

Article Usage

  • Total views: 11732
  • [From(publication date):
    June-2013 - Jul 22, 2018]
  • Breakdown by view type
  • HTML page views : 7945
  • PDF downloads : 3787

Post your comment

captcha   Reload  Can't read the image? click here to refresh

Peer Reviewed Journals
Make the best use of Scientific Research and information from our 700 + peer reviewed, Open Access Journals
International Conferences 2018-19
Meet Inspiring Speakers and Experts at our 3000+ Global Annual Meetings

Contact Us

Agri & Aquaculture Journals

Dr. Krish

[email protected]

+1-702-714-7001Extn: 9040

Biochemistry Journals

Datta A

[email protected]

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9037

Business & Management Journals


[email protected]

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9042

Chemistry Journals

Gabriel Shaw

[email protected]

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9040

Clinical Journals

Datta A

[email protected]

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9037

Engineering Journals

James Franklin

[email protected]

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9042

Food & Nutrition Journals

Katie Wilson

[email protected]

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9042

General Science

Andrea Jason

[email protected]

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9043

Genetics & Molecular Biology Journals

Anna Melissa

[email protected]

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9006

Immunology & Microbiology Journals

David Gorantl

[email protected]

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9014

Materials Science Journals

Rachle Green

[email protected]

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9039

Nursing & Health Care Journals

Stephanie Skinner

[email protected]

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9039

Medical Journals

Nimmi Anna

[email protected]

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9038

Neuroscience & Psychology Journals

Nathan T

[email protected]

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9041

Pharmaceutical Sciences Journals

Ann Jose

[email protected]

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9007

Social & Political Science Journals

Steve Harry

[email protected]

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9042

© 2008- 2018 OMICS International - Open Access Publisher. Best viewed in Mozilla Firefox | Google Chrome | Above IE 7.0 version
Leave Your Message 24x7