Because of my husband’s work as a police officer at the time that I first met him, he introduced me to tv shows like Cold Case, Forensic Files, City Confidential, etc. It’s very interesting to me because it’s like solving a puzzle and I do love a good dose of mystery, especially if it’s based on a true story.
I never thought that one day, I would be somehow involved in the forensic world. It’s quite ironic. There are so many things that I’m still frustrated with in terms of the findings regarding my husband’s death. Just one of the things from this list is the “Date of Death.” When the Medical Examiner declared that Steve’s Date of Death was July 30, I was flabbergasted. Couldn’t they see that he didn’t just died that day? He couldn’t just turned into a skeleton on the same day that he was found.
I initially talked to the Coroner Detective about changing the date of death. She explained to me that because of the advanced stage of decay, they couldn’t give me an exact date for the date of death. So, I sent a formal request to the Los Angeles County’s Coroner Department to have the date amended – at the very least, an approximate date of death.
In my research about the process of determining the date of death and the process in amending the date of death, I came across this information from the CDC’s “Medical Examiner’s and Coroner’s Handbook on Death Registration and Fetal Death Reporting.” It says there:
“If the exact date of death is unknown, it should be approximated by the person completing the medical certification. ’’Approx—‘‘ should be placed before the date. If date cannot be determined by approximating, the date found should be entered and identified as such.”
The word “approximate” stood out to me.
I researched if there’s a method where you can approximate the date of death. In my search, I came across a popular case of Caylee Anthony. Caylee’s skeletal remains were found in a wooded area near the family home four years ago and forensic entomologists were able to approximate her date of death.
When I had a private viewing of Steve, I noticed a roly poly crawling and that inspired me to search for a Forensic Entomologist.