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  1. #1
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    Feb 2004
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    Decomp smell **REVISIT**

    How long does it take a body to really start to smell?

    I'm wondering if her parents smelled it when they picked the car up and LE smelled it when they searched...how long was the body in and out of the car?
    Seriously, if it was in the trunk for a few hours(driving to an alternate location)...could it smell that bad and can the smell linger for weeks? Seriously, why would the smell be there 3 weeks to a month after the fact?

  2. #2
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    this is what I could find.

    I'm wondering if her parents smelled it when they picked the car up and LE smelled it when they searched...how long was the body in and out of the car?
    Seriously, if it was in the trunk for a few hours(driving to an alternate location)...could it smell that bad and can the smell linger for weeks? Seriously, why would the smell be there 3 weeks to a month after the fact?[/quote]

    Pallor mortis (Latin: paleness of death) is a postmortem paleness which happens in those with light skin almost instantly (in the 15–120 minutes after the death) because of a lack of capillary circulation throughout the body. The blood sinks down into the lower parts of the body creating the Livor mortis.
    Paleness develops so rapidly after death that it has little to no use in determining the time of death, aside from saying that it either happened less than 30 minutes ago or more, which could help if the body was found very quickly after death.
    But it all depends on the conditions where the dead thing is.
    if it is hot it will decompose faster and will start to smell. If it is cold it takes longer.
    So if it's 80 degrees a dead body will start to smell alot sooner than one that is where the temperature is cold outside
    with light skin almost instantly (in the 15–120 minutes after the death) because of a lack of capillary circulation throughout the body. The blood sinks down into the lower parts of the body creating the Livor mortis.
    Livor mortis or postmortem lividity or hypostasis (Latin: livor—bluish color, mortis—of death), one of the signs of death, is a settling of the blood in the lower (dependent) portion of the body, causing a purplish red discoloration of the skin:
    Coroners can use the presence or absence of livor mortis as a means of determining an approximate time of death. The presence of livor mortis is an indication not to start CPR, or to stop it if it is in progress. It can also be used by forensic investigators to determine whether or not a body has been moved (for instance, if the body is found lying face down but the pooling is present on its back, investigators can determine that the body was originally positioned face up).
    Livor mortis starts 20 minutes to 3 hours after death and is congealed in the capillaries in 4 to 5 hours. Maximum lividity occurs within 6-12 hours.
    Decomposition (or spoilage) refers to the reduction of the body of a formerly living organism into simpler forms of matter. The body of a living organism begins to decompose (as part of a succession) shortly after death. Such decomposition can be categorized by two stages: In the first stage, it is limited to the production of vapors. In the second stage, liquid materials form and the flesh or plant matter begins to decompose.
    Environmental influences affect decomposition. A body that is exposed to air will decompose more quickly and exhibit more insect activity. A buried body will decompose eight times slower than a body exposed to air. This is due in part to limited insect activity and possibly lower temperatures. Likewise a body submerged in water decomposes at half the rate of an exposed body. The rate of decomposition depends on the temperature of the water. Cold water slows decomposition and warm water causes faster decomposition. The body is also shielded from insect activity as long as it is submerged.
    Last edited by truecrime; 07-29-2008 at 11:39 AM. Reason: to long

  3. #3
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    Sadly, there was a case many years ago in a neighboring state, a small boy went missing. Everyone looked and looked, to no avail, several weeks went by, and the father began to smell something in his car. The little boy had hidden in the wheel well of the family's older model station wagon, and had become trapped there. That poor family drove that car around without knowing their precious baby was there.
    It was an airtight compartment, so it did take a while for the smell to develop.

  4. #4
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    OMG I could have went a few more days not hearing that. Thanks!

    Ewww... and woahhhhhhh.. that is really horrible.
    Bitter are the tears of a child: Sweeten them.
    Deep are the thoughts of a child: Quiet them.
    Sharp is the grief of a child: Take it from him.
    Soft is the heart of a child: Do not harden it.
    ~Pamela Glenconner~

  5. #5
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    Hoping someone can answer this question. I'm not even sure how to factor winds in here, but on average how far would the smell of a decomposing body linger? Especially in warm summer months. Feet, yards, blocks?

    tia
    ~JMO~

    A grandfather is someone with silver in his hair and gold in his heart. ~Author Unknown


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  6. #6
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    I think there have been numerous cases of people living in a neighboring apartment reporting an odor and police discovering a dead body next door.

    Not blocks, though.

  7. #7
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    an ex-bf of mine worked for a towing company. they ended up dealing with a car in which someone had committed suicide a few days before. the person's body had been in the car for several days...hot days. The people driving the tow truck could hardly stand it, and they were in an air-conditioned cab with the towed cars windows rolled up.

    When they arrived at the police impound lot, they were instructed to take the car as far away as the building as possible. My bf said you could could hardly still hardly stand to breathe the air.

    It was that bad.

  8. #8
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    Dec 2003
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    I have no idea if it's true, but I've heard that you can't get the smell out of things like cars.

  9. #9
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    Feb 2004
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    So lets say her body was in the car for hours or even days....I guess my questions is, would it still smell several weeks later?

    When did her parents pick up the car? Did they ever state that the smell was there when they picked it up?

  10. #10
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    Apr 2006
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    I have not smelled a dead human body but we used to go fishing by a lake and we got out of the van one day and this horrible smell hit me like a ton of bricks. I actually threw up since the smell was so bad. We had been fishing at this place just 3 days before this and had not smelled a thing--my husband went looking and there was a dog that had been shot about 1/4 mile from where we parked! I will never forget that smell...this was a full-grown lab sized dog and the smell was horrific. Needless to say we left and never returned to fish in that area again. I just can't iamgine how badly a human body would smell...


  11. #11
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    It's obviously a pizza.... the "Dahmer Supreme".... hold the anchovies.

  12. #12
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    Central Alabama
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cubby View Post
    Hoping someone can answer this question. I'm not even sure how to factor winds in here, but on average how far would the smell of a decomposing body linger? Especially in warm summer months. Feet, yards, blocks?

    tia
    I lived in an apartment complex a few years ago. It was the 2 story type townhouse deals, so the width was a bit smaller than a reg apartment would be (the front doors were closer to eachother is what I am trying to say). A guy drank himself to death 4 doors over and was found 4 days later. It stunk. It was bad. That was 4 doors down. Maybe 60 feet away or a little further. This was in wintertime in Georgia though, so I bet it didn't smell as bad as the FL heat in July.

  13. #13
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    Feb 2004
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    But I mean after after the body is removed from any location, how long would the smell stay?

  14. #14
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    Feb 2004
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    And when was the car picked up from impound?

  15. #15
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    Central Alabama
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrandyMarie View Post
    But I mean after after the body is removed from any location, how long would the smell stay?
    When they cleaned the house out, they had to throw most everything away (bed, sheets, blankets, and clothing). The dumpster where they threw the stuff stunk until it was removed. I never went in the apartment, so I don't know if there was a lingering smell in there. I think once the "stuff" that causes the smell touches something, that it is pretty much in there. My guess is that Fabreeze won't work (or much else for that matter).

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