Location of Artifacts Deposited by the Blow Fly Lucilia cuprina After Feeding on Human Blood at Simulated Indoor Crime Scenes

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Abstract

Human DNA profiles can be obtained from fly artifacts (feces and regurgitant) when a fly has been feeding on biological material, sometimes 2 years after deposition. Morphological similarity between artifacts and spots of unaltered biological material make it difficult to distinguish between them, and presumptive and confirmatory forensic tests are unreliable in making the distinction. Knowing possible artifact locations will assist investigators in recognizing where DNA contamination might occur. Flies were released into a house with human blood available under a variety of different climatic and lighting conditions. The location of flies and artifacts was recorded after 72 h. It was found flies may move toward warm or well-lit areas and deposit artifacts there, but artifacts were predominantly located around food sources and were often found in low positions. Factors such as ambient temperature, and the proximity of light and food sources, had an impact on where artifacts were deposited.

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