March 19, 2014
Dr. Robert Bowen, a Board-Certified Forensic Pathologist with Physician’s Laboratory Services and adjunct faculty member for UNL’s Forensic Science Program, came to discuss issues of forensic pathology.
Bowen indicated that in Nebraska, a coroners system is used where a coroner is an elected official (County Attorney) who then appoints a professional to perform that county’s autopsies. Dr. Bowen’s lab processed over 700 autopsies last year alone.
Dr. Bowen pointed out that his main objective is to look at every aspect of the body and collect as much data as possible to develop a story of what happened and compare that story with the facts surrounding the case. He indicated his goals include: determining time and cause of death, identifing the body, finding evidence and identifing any postmortem effects.
Bowen also discussed various causes of death and their common identifying features as well as other contextual evidence required to make that determination. More…