An agreement between the Department of Public Health, Neurosciences, Experimental & Forensic Medicine and the Italian Scientific Police was stipulated to improve knowledge about insects of forensic importance, and to allow police staff to practice collection of entomological specimens. The ability of the police to record information useful to forensic entomologists and to collect insects at a scene is very important considering the fact that in Italy the professional role of the forensic entomologist is not recognized. For this reason, when an entomological inspection is performed by professional figures not educated in the collection of entomological specimens (in the absence of a forensic entomologist), the quality of the forensic entomology procedures can be easily compromised. In order to address this issue, spontaneous deaths were treated as crime scenes, from an entomological point of view, and insects and data were collected by agents under the guidance and supervision of an entomologist as indicated by the EAFE guidelines. Subsequently, the entomological specimens were treated in the forensic entomology lab to identify the species involved in the experimental cases and assess their developmental stage. In one case in particular, the discovery of the body of a young girl indoors in the summer, in a town in the north of Italy, demonstrates how difficult it can occasionally be to apply the required entomological procedures, and also offers insight into the unusual colonization by Megaselia scalaris of a body in the chromatic-bloating putrefaction stage for which the pathologist hypothesized a PMI of only 3-4 days, later confirmed by the entomological analysis. Generally this species colonizes bodies in more advanced stages of decomposition or bodies that have been buried, and overlaps other waves of insect colonization. In this case no other significant species were observed on the body; perhaps, this may be explained by the nature of the environmental settings in which the body was found.
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