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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    Raccoons, Casey and Karma

    New poster. I am from the Central Florida area and participated in the searches Nov 8/9. I also jog for exercise and follow the case closely.

    I run parallel to a few roads that have large run-off ditches. Every week or so a new animal is in this ditch (dead) having been hit by a vehicle; by in large, this means armadillos and raccoons, less often migratory birds. Since I run nearly every day I track the cycle (I was going to say lifecycle but caught myself) of what happens to the carcass.

    First off, the animals do NOT immediately begin to stink. This takes a few days to a week. The last animal I observed was a raccoon and when I passed by it was maybe five meters away. I did this for three days straight and smelled nothing whatever. This is consistent with what I read on the internet concerning the 'Fresh' phase of decomposition.

    Oddly, even on the first day this animal was surrounded by perhaps twenty vultures, but they seemed to all be just standing around doing nothing. One pecked a small hole in the shoulder. I got the distinct impression they where waiting for it to rot.

    In contrast, some weeks or months back an armadillo on the same road went to just a small husk in about two weeks. Not much remained after, no flies, the vultures picked it almost clean. Two meters away from the husk and no smell.

    In another instance, another raccoon at another spot, right next to a road, was further on in the process and smelled pretty bad, enough to start a retching reflex when I passed by perhaps 8 meters away. This smell died down to nothing within three or four days and the remains still present. No vultures during my passes of it probably because it was just off the road and cars whizzing by. These big birds seem to be cautious.

    I drove down Lee Vista Blvd from Chickasaw past Goldenrod and I got the impression that there could be twenty bodies undetected in the very large wooded areas all around that area. There are a least twenty 10+ acre wooded areas from 50 to Lee Vista down Chickasaw.

    Conclusions based on just these observations: (1) Detection of child size body by smell would need to be within say thirty meters even during the peak of the decomposition; perhaps a cadaver dog could go to 100 meters; (2) Any human body left in the outdoors, on the surface, for more than say three weeks undetected would be scavenged to next to nothing by vultures at a minimum, maybe other animals as well; (3) When attempting to secrete a body at a clandestine location, the attempt had better be before say 48 hours after death or after three weeks or more; in the interim, the body is at the peak for the generation of nasty smells. This smell attaches to everything and is detectable at extremely minute concentrations for some chemicals (so my internet searches seem to state).

    Given this, handling the body at three to two weeks after death, as some as suggested means that the body was in the state where it was most detectable by chemical emissions. Here is where I see Karma. Even though there was great effort at concealment, the choices in terms of timing the handling of the body where not opportune for escaping detection.

    As an aside, another theme I have seen on these threads concerns the state of mind concerning the possibly of detection of the remains. The smell factor could have led the perpetrator to choose to gauge detectability by simply walking by or even riding by the location. If the body was buried, or simply hidden in the brush, a check by smell, done periodically, would allow the perpetrator to gain confidence of non-detection. It would not be visually detectable with even a modest effort at concealment. Also, I think that someone motivated to conceal a child size body could physically do it in ten minutes or less IMO. Given the observations about the vultures and such, an actual subsequent visit to the location may have revealed the body had vanished, dispersed by predators, or so little remained that site is undetectable. Perhaps this is the genesis of the half truth of "honestly, I don't know where she is".

    During the searches (recall I said I participated) I was a little astonished at the amount of bones we found in the woods, turning out to be discarded pets and livestock. I was on a team of ten or so and in the two days of searches I personally observed the skeletal remains of perhaps ten animals. The woods seemed to chock full of them. They were all pretty old; no smell whatever, some movie style bleach white and others a dull tan that was hard to see on the background of the forest litter. The key was we found at all sites part of the jaw bone which indicated an animal, if not the full skull itself. Bones at one site where clustered perhaps in a ten meter radius, small bits that would be easily missed by someone not paying that much attention.

    I do not have any real basis for this, but my guess is that all potential sites are were only searched to a degree of ten percent or less, factoring the actual physical area traversed plus some factor search efficiency. Each square meter would have to be looked at at least three times to gain confidence it was clear. The bottom line is that the search effort is simply to weak.

    I also perceived that the search effort by the volunteers was weak in certain aspects. Some of the searchers where not prepared to focus to the extent they needed to. In the woods, there were spiders and thorns and weeds everywhere. Almost everywhere I went is was a battle even to move forward in a coherent manner. If a body is ever found, in my opinion it is entirely likely that is it in an area already claimed as searched. You could have literally stepped over the remains and not seen them.

    So the bottom line for me is that the chemicals and subsequent analysis of the trunk is the clinching evidence and LE is unlikely to have the remains for the reasons given.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008


    Welcome, and thanks for posting I really enjoyed your insight.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    St. Petersburg, FL.
    I really appreciate your post. Very informative. Thank you!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Thank you for posting this. Oh, and I love the title of your thread. I thought, "Raccoons and Casey and Karma... oh my!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    deep in the countryside of northern Alabama
    Very informative post. Thank you

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Quote Originally Posted by Recovering-Lurker View Post
    Thank you for posting this. Oh, and I love the title of your thread. I thought, "Raccoons and Casey and Karma... oh my!"
    Glad to meet a fellow runner who has observed daily decomposition of roadkill... thought I was the only one who did that!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Very impressed by your post. It is so believable and clean, it squeaks. Thank you. IMO.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    dirty south
    great posts....lots of good insight, and well stated

    "A true artist will always be open minded because that's their responsibility." - Lee Quinones

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Thank you for posting all of this. It will put into perspective what it is like here to find a body, because you can't imagine it until you live here or come down here. I watch the buzzards you are talking about, they are called "Turkey buzzards". I have never seen birds this big, they can take a small dog or cat away. They pick the bones clean and then scatter them. You don't just see 2 or 3, you will see 10 or 12 at a time, after a small animal on the side of the road. So even if you hid a body just a few yards inside the wooded areas, it can be gone in a few weeks. KC had a 31 day start.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Hi Alpha leader! If you were the Team Leader for the Alpha team in BP on the Saturday search I remember meeting you! I was on the "A" team who searched right beside your team...great explanation of what it was like - you forgot one thing though - IT WAS REALLY HOT!!

    After a couple of hours I was getting bleary-eyed from being hot even though I had a water pack. You had a good team as did we. I feel we worked well together in spite of the obstacles!

    Welcome to WS!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    here and there
    AL. Welcome and thank you for your thoughts and observations.

    KC is a runner also, according to the A's neighbor. She gave a statement to LE regarding the loud verbal altercations she witnesses between KC and CA, noting that KC ended one of their disputes by going for a run.

    I wonder if KC was making the same sort of assessments as you and possibly picked a disposal sight while running near her neighborhood. She could have easily come back to check out the spot at anytime without anyone giving it a thought.
    Last edited by Tom'sGirl; 12-11-2008 at 12:28 AM. Reason: either Anthony or A's....no Ant's
    Thank you my WS family for everything you do, everyday. You are loved and appreciated.


    ~Emma Leigh Barker~

    Justice For Emma
    Stacey Barker - Guilty - Murder 1 - 5/24/11
    25 to LiFE - Sentenced 6/17/11

    jmho as always

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Red Sox Nation
    Quote Originally Posted by elle1919 View Post
    Very informative post. Thank you

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Did KC have a running stroller for Little Angel Caylee???

    I was wondering if perhaps KC had one of those special
    running strollers.... for Little Angel CAYLEE ? ? ?
    Could have just put her in the stroller...
    covered her with a blanket ...like she was sleeping...
    put on her (KC's) running clothes...
    That One day the neighbor..... said she was in her
    running clothes... maybe the day of the
    SHOVEL ? ? ? ------------ well anyway....
    she could have just taken off for a run...
    and run right into the thick tree.... and then...
    left LITTLE ANGEL CAYLEE and the stroller......
    DEAR GOD>>>>
    That makes me so sick to even type this...
    OH Dear GOD I ask you to PLEASE TAKE JUSTICE>>>
    Little Angel CAYLEE ! ! !
    Help us solve this terrible crime against an innocent little
    CHILD ! ! !
    But still praying for JUSTICE FOR LITTLE ANGEL CAYLEE ! ! !
    God Bless All who are helping !!!

  14. #14
    Excellent post!
    Very informative, with your information, it is also why I theorize that the A's backyard needs to be searched again or Caylee was placed in water.
    I hate to say it but your post also made another point of why I do not jog!
    Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy jewelry and lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion, Every Day Is Special.

    In My Humble Opinion and I Reserve
    The Right To Change It As Often As Neccessary.

  15. #15
    Wow-thanks dude, that was a most informative and educational post about the REALITY of how difficult finding Caylee is going to be...We appreciate your sharing these insights with all of us here, and look forward to more wonderful posts in the days to come...Pretrial TOMORROW!!!

    ABC provided $200,000.00 to
    Casey Anthonys defense!
    The MURDERED should not be USED to pay for the MURDERERS DEFENSE!

    American Tragedy: The defense of Casey Anthony.

    Juror No. 11 somehow made the journey from Casey is the one on trial to George may be a murderer, based on how George acted on the stand? 3 years of evidence against Casey and he throws George under the bus. Makes sense?
    What evidence indicated that George might be a murderer? Anyone?
    Weren't they to ONLY consider EVIDENCE?
    This NOT GUILTY verdict throws Caylee right back into the swamp she decomposed in. Thanks to this "impartial" jury.

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