Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Kevin Neal, Convicted of Murder by Forensic Entomology

Date of Death

Combining the information — the disappearance of P. regina, which appears almost immediately upon death, the lack of secondary screwworms, which should have been present in the area in mid-to-late July, but who would not have laid eggs in a body in an advanced state of decay, and the third-instar cheese skippers that require a minimum of 45 days and advanced decay to thrive — Haskell explained to the jury that the earliest the children could have died was July 9 and the latest was July 14.

After discussing the foliage and the stream around the crime scene to determine if Haskell took that into account when he came up with his time frame, Selvaggio returned to the main point he wanted to make.

"Can you give us an opinion based on a reasonable degree of scientific certainty about how long India and Cody Smith had been located where they were subsequently found on September 6, 1997?" he asked.

"Yes, I can," Haskell replied. "And I believe it was between the 14th of July and the 9th of July."


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