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Results of Air Sample Tests in Casey Anthony Murder Trial

Updated on June 6, 2011

When conducting an air sample test for any reason, there's a proper procedure that must be followed. When sampling air for asbestos, for example, one must first agitate the air with blowers, as required by law, and wait a specified length of time before taking air samples.

What is the proper procedure for sampling air for human decomposition? Your guess is as good as mine. Perhaps this is why Casey Anthony's Defense team refers to air sample testing as "junk science."

Phoridae (Coffin Flies)
Phoridae (Coffin Flies) | Source

How will prosecutors prove that decomposition found via air sample testing came from human decomposition, or more specifically, the remains of Caylee Anthony?

Let's not forget that Casey Anthony texted her friend Amy to report that she hit a dead squirrel with the Pontiac. Defense could argue that she pulled the animal's remains off the vehicle, tossed the dead animal in a bag and threw the bag in the trunk of her car with the other rotting garbage. Unlikely? Sure. But there's just as much proof (at this point) that the smell of decomposition came from as dead squirrel.

Taphonomy is the science of studying decomposition. If prosecutors believe that the skuttle flies, or coffin flies, found in the vehicle were feeding on human decomposition, this would imply that the body was in the second or third stage of decomposition. During these stages, the body begins to purge fluids; these fluids create a cadaver decomposition island, or CDI. In other words, the trunk (or any material wrapped around the child) would've been wet with bodily fluids at some point.

Still, prosecutors have not offered any proof that human decomposition took place in the trunk of Casey Anthony's car. And even if Dr. Arpad Vass concludes that air sample tests revealed human decomposition, we don't have any physical evidence to conclude that the body in the trunk belonged to Caylee Marie Anthony.

Were the coffin flies collected and tested by toxicologists for the presence of chloroform? George Anthony reported seeing maggots in the trunk of Casey Anthony's car. Did investigators find pupal casings shed by maggots? Did a a forensics specialist check for DNA present in the digestive tract of any insect found in the truck of the car?

Without any concrete evidence to show that Caylee Anthony's remains were in the trunk of Casey Anthony's car, it's very likely that a jury might find Casey Anthony innocent of this crime.


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    • futonfraggle profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Exactly, Robert: There is no absolute proof. She could walk! Prosecutors need to show something to seal this case. "Maybe" and "probably" don't cut it.

    • profile image

      Robert Hallam 

      7 years ago

      At this point in the trial, I want to know what concrete evidence does the prosecution have that Casey Anthony killed her daughter? Apparently the prosecution is at it's mid point and all we have is evidence that it was probably Caylee's dead body that was in the trunk of Casey's car. But there is no evidence as of yet that proves without a reasonable doubt that first it was a human body, or more precisely that it was Casey's body.

      Like most people, I am fairly sure that Casey was involved in the death of her daughter, but there is no absolute proof. I think she tried to use chlorophorm to put her to sleep temporarily, while she was out having fun, but underestimated the effects of an overdose. That is a scenario that I think she would want to cover up. I don't believe the drowning scenario. That's a 911 call.

      , or that it was a human body possible


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