A crime scene investigator has a very important job when it comes to a crime scene. Now the purpose of a crime scene investigator is not just limited to homicides, sexual assaults, armed robberies, home invasions and property crimes such as burglaries (feinc. net. n. d. ). However, most of their time is spent processing crime scene, packaging as well as transporting evidence and attending and photographing autopsies (feinc. net. n. d. ). They also attend briefings and conferences with any police agencies that request their assistance on a case or cases.
Therefore, at some agencies a crime scene investigator may work in the officer from Monday through Friday from 8:30 a. m. to 4:30 p. m. but they also have scheduled after-hours standby duties every other week in order to be readily available if they are needed (feinc. net. n. d. ). Crime scene investigators are needed at a crime scene in order to search the crime scene. Now in order for them to do this they have to first do a walkthrough of the scene to determine what strategy they will need to use in order to apprehend evidence from the scene (work. hro. com. n. d. ).
They also need to figure out what equipment and resources will be needed to collect the evidence during their walkthrough of the crime scene. Furthermore, they document the crime scene and all of the evidence that has been collected at the crime scene in order to later be able to testify in court that the evidence in question is from that scene and has been properly documented and collected. There are certain crimes that a crime scene investigator investigates. However, they are not limited to a certain type of crime.
Yet, most of their cases consist of murder, sexual assaults, armed robberies, home invasions, suicides, fires, auto thefts, auto accidents and any type of violent crime (crime-scene-investigator. net. n. d. ). Therefore, most of the crimes they investigate are crimes that causes death, serious injury or high in value. However, they can investigate other crimes within their area of expertise in order to help other agencies solve a crime. Therefore, once they have collected all of the evidence from the crime scene.
Then they can be called into court to testify in the case that the evidence is real as well as was collected from the actual crime scene. Furthermore, they can be considered an expert witness in the case because of all the evidence they collected and they made sure that it was collected, labeled and stored properly. The purpose of a coroner investigator is to work with other law enforcement officer in order to determine the cause of death in a situation where a death is deemed suspicious (wishgeek. om. n. d. ).
Furthermore, they work under the direct supervision of a coroner which can also be known as the medical examiner. Therefore, if they work for the medical examiner then the medical examiner would perform the actual autopsy on a body and the investigator would only examine the body and the scene of the crime to gather information that may be relevant in the death and case (wishgeek. com. n. d. ). Yet, they can also help move the body and may in some cases help with the actual autopsy.
However, in some case the Coroner Investigator works directly with the crime scene investigator in order to determine the cause and time of death. They also at time help them in the collection of evidence, take photographs of the body at the scene as well as the scene of the crime. In additions to these things they also help write reports on the process of the investigation as well as conduct interviews with the crime scene investigator to get a better insight on the circumstance of a death (wishgeek. com. n. d. ).
In some cases, a Coroner Investigator will testify in court depending on the actual case. They would testify to their actual findings in the case such as the time of death and the cause of death. Furthermore, they can testify that the evidence in the case is the actual evidence collected at the crime scene because they may help collect the evidence at the scene. A Coroner Investigator does work for the Medical Examiner in order to solve a case and find the cause of death. As mention before they may also assist the Medical Examiner in determining a cause of death.
Furthermore, in some cases once the Medical Examiner or the Coroner has finish with their investigation of the body they can be the person who handle the paperwork of releasing the body to the next of kin as well as contacting the next of kin on the behalf of the Medical Examiner or Coroner (wishgeek. com. n. d. ). They can also handle any press inquiries dealing with a death if it deals with a high profile case for the Medical Examiner (wishgeek. com. n. d. ). However, there are some thing that only the Medical Examiner can do even though the Coroner Investigator works for them because of the law.
They ey are a few differences in a Crime Scene Investigator and a Coroner Investigator but they are both law enforcement professionals. They both have to follow all law enforcement protocol as well as take a test to ensure that they know these protocol. Unfortunately, a Coroner Investigator cannot arrest anyone involved in a murder but a Crime Scene Investigator can arrest them based off of the evidence find at the scene as well as determined by the Coroner Investigator or Medical Examiner.
Therefore, the Coroner Investigator investigates the actual death and how it occurred and the Crime Scene Investigator investigates the actual crime and what happen at the crime scene. Therefore, they both work together to determine all of the causes surrounding a crime scene where someone has died or was maybe killed. Fortunately, when both the Coroner and Crime Scene Investigator are both at a crime scene neither one of them is totally in charge of the scene. Yet, they both are there to collect the evidence and work together to find the cause of death.
However, when it comes to the actual body at the scene the Coroner Investigator takes control of the body once the Crime Scene Investigator has collected all of the evidence they need from the body and the surrounding area. Therefore, the Crime Scene Investigator and Coroner Investigator are both responsible for collecting evidence at a crime scene because it can help them both solve the case. When it comes to death there are basically only two stages of death Somatic which is when vital bodily process stops such as breathing, digestion, energy production, and heartbeat.
However, the next one is called molecular which is the breakdown of the body or decomposition. Now decomposition is when the body starts decay or rot after it is dead because of the chemical breakdown (freedictionary. com n. d. ). However, before this happens the body has to go through livor mortis, algor mortis and rigor mortis. Now livor mortis is defined as the discoloration of dependent parts of the body after death has set in on the body and the blood has settled in the lower portion of the body (medical-dictionary. thefreedictionary. com. n. d. . Therefore, when the blood turns a purplish red color it is because the heart has stop functioning. Therefore, heavy red blood cells sink through the serum because of the earth gravity and it causes livor mortis.
Now rigor mortis is when the body is dead and it starts to stiffen but depending on the temperature and other conditions, it can last for approximately 72 hours (wayzata. k12. mn. us. com. n. d. ). Therefore, the living muscle cells are not using energy (in the form of ATP) in order to move Ca out of the cells (wayzata. k12. mn. us. com. n. . ). So when death set in the ATP reserves are used up faster than normally and the Ca is not getting shipped out of the cell but is building up inside. Therefore, this build-up causes ACTIN and MYOSCIN (muscle fibers) to link and stay linked for a period of time (wayzata. k12. mn. us. com. n. d. ). Fortunately, in some cases this can last for ten minutes or several hours but the maximum stiffness is normally reached at about 12 to 24 hours of post mortem and the facial muscles are the first to be affected and then the rest of the body is affected.
However, algor mortis is the rate at which a body cools down after death (wayzata. k12. mn. us. com. n. d. ). Fortunately, a body will cool very slow or little during the first part of the PM hours (wayzata. k12. mn. us. com. n. d. ). Yet, after the first hour to about six hours, a person’s body will normally cool at a rate of 1. 5 degrees Fahrenheit for each hour after death (wayzata. k12. mn. us. com. n. d. ). Therefore, if there are normal conditions and a body has a temperature of 95. degrees then that would indicate that the body has cooled only 3 degrees form the normal body temperature of 98. 6 degrees. Therefore, this means that the body has been dead for about 2 to 3 hours but the only way to accurately determine this is to take the body temperature internally or by the rectal but on a crime scene the investigator would do it by checking the liver with a meat thermometer by placing it into the body right under the rib cage on the right side (wayzata. k12. mn. us. com. n. d. ). Therefore, when it comes to the differences livor mortis, rigor mortis and algor mortis.
Livor mortis is when the body has just died and the blood is no longer moving in the body. Now once this happens than algor mortis starts which is when the body starts to cool off from its normal temperature which than can lead to rigor mortis. Now this is when the body starts to stiffen because the blood is no longer flowing through the body and the where the body is located has made the muscle tighten up. Therefore, livor mortis is when the body has just died and the blood is not moving, algor mortis is after livor mortis has occurred which is then followed by rigor mortis.
Fortunately, every city or county has either a medical examiner or a coroner. However, if a city or county does not have a Medical Examiner they can send the body to another city close by that does have one in order for them to determine the actual cause of death. Now some cities do have both a Medical Examiner and Coroner which work together. Furthermore, if the city is large enough they also have a Coroner Investigator who works with the Coroner and Medical Examiner.
In some areas depending on the background of the individual person which means their educational accomplishments, jurisdictional area, their title or even elected position a coroner can be considered a Medical Examiner, Medical Legal Investigator, Forensic Pathologist, Deputy Coroner, County Coroner, Chief Deputy Coroner or Coroner/ Medical Examiner. Therefore, in some cases the coroner and medical examiner could be the same person depending upon their area. However, they have to also have the educational background in order to be able to perform both duties.
Although, a coroner and a Medical Examiner can perform the same duties there is a difference between the two but a person can be called both. However, a coroner is an elected official who in some cases does not have to have a medical degree. Unfortunately, a Medical Examiner is a medical doctor who actual perform autopsies and other investigations to determine a cause of death but a coroner does not perform an autopsy (forensicsciencecareers. net. n. d. ). Therefore, they are educated in the medical field as well as licensed and certified to do their job (forensicsciencecareers. et. n. d. ). Yet, they have to have a M. D. (Doctor of Medicine) with the knowledge of science and the human body as well as be able to talk in great details about their findings as the medical examiner but as the coroner this is not needed because they will not be performing all of these duties.
Furthermore, there are times when a medical examiner will be called to court to testify on their findings in order to better help the court to understand such findings when it may relate to the cause of death, and time of death in a criminal trial (forensicsciencecareers. et. n. d. ). Now unlike the Medical Examiner if the coroner does not have the educational background he/she cannot do this but in fact has to call in the Medical Examiner who actually performed the duty. Therefore, the purpose of the Medical Examiner is to perform the medical duty such as autopsies as well as testify in court on any medical issues surrounding a death in a case.