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Cops looking for horror-house visitors
KOLKATA: A doctor and three technicians had been to the horror house on 3 Robinson Street sometime between January and June, 2015. The time span is crucial because by then Debjani De was dead, as her brother Partha told doctors on Monday. Police have identified them and will be calling them for questioning in a day or two.

The deposition of these four people may help investigators to get to know about the scene inside the house when Partha was living with three skeletons — her elder sister and two pets — and 77-year old father Arabindo.

Investigators are also taking help of other means to unravel the mystery. "We had planned to send the DNA samples to both Kolkata and Hyderabad but it will need time. For that, we need items used by Debjani like toothbrush along with strands of her hair. More importantly, we need Partha to identify her items which might be time consuming," said a source. Besides the carbon dating tests to be carried on the skeleton to determine the age of it, the cops have been told by forensic medicine experts to carry out nitrogen content analysis. This test will either be held in Gujarat or Mumbai.

Police said that a preliminary report on the handwriting of all three members would reach them anytime soon from the state CID, whose handwriting experts have been approached already and it is on their inputs that sleuths now believe that they have recovered some writings of Debjani from Partha's room. Police also said that they have received the postmortem reports of both Debjani and Arabindo, but are waiting for the postmortem reports of the two dogs from the Belgachhia FSL.

Among the other techniques, the cops have asked for the superimposition test through which the skull recovered from the De residence is superimposed on the photograph of Debjani and matched. A central Kolkata based private firm is said to be helping the Shakespeare Sarani police on this. Early signs from that test indicate that the matching has been positive suggesting the skeleton indeed can be Debjani's. The police and experts, though, warned at drawing a conclusion until the DNA report is tabled.

The Shakespeare Sarani police also want the Gujarat Forensic Science Lab, the central forensic science and Belgachhia FSL experts to guide them. "We have formed two teams to handle the forensic tests. While one team will be analyzing the death of Debjani, the other team will be handling the call record details of the family members over the last one year," said a source.

Even as they are yet to get a clinching evidence to conclude that the skeleton was Debjani's, police say that there are indications that it was Debjani's skeleton. "We searched the house again on Monday. All circumstantial evidences point to Debjani's dying in Partha's room. However, we will still need to ascertain the cause and time of death," said a source.

"A skeleton will take a long time to become just that, the skeleton may have been buried before it was uncovered recently. The decomposition of the body depends on the surrounding environment and also the existence of so-called 'forensic Fauna' (insects, feeding animals etc)," said a former head of Belgachhia FSL.

Police have also clarified that initial FSL reports, the statement from firemen and the circumstantial evidence all point to Arabindo's suicide. "We have found the shovel firemen used to break open the bathroom lock. The post mortem has also indicated that the burn wounds were ante-mortem in nature," said an officer.

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   By the time relatives found 19-month-old DeVarion Gross concealed inside an 18-gallon storage container in his mother's closet, his body was too decomposed for investigators to determine how he had died.

They did, however, find other damning evidence that contributed to his mother's 2010 conviction in North Carolina: DeVarion had three rib fractures at different stages of healing — evidence of a history of abuse.

"If he hadn't been decomposed, we probably would not have seen any of them," said Ann Ross, an anthropologist at North Carolina State University who examined DeVarion's remains. "Most likely they would not have shown up on regular X-ray."
SOURCE: By Wynne Parry, Live Science Contributor   |   February 19, 2014 08:07am ET

• Human skin is not a reliable medium on which to record bite marks because skin is subject to tension, distortion, swelling and elasticity. 
• There have been no research studies on live humans to prove that the discipline of bite-mark analysis is scientifically reliable. 
• Research on cadavers at the University of Buffalo suggests the same teeth do not make the same bite marks each time. 
• Bite marks can be skewed by the movement that goes along with violent acts. 
• Bite-mark analysis is subjective and prone to bias. 
Source: Innocence Project and Dr. John Demas, fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences
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