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barnicus
08-14-2010, 09:03 PM
If a body was stabbed thoroughly and left in a pool. At the beginning the blood would be flowing out and making the water red. But what if the body wasn't discovered until 24 hours later? Would the water appear to be turned black from the dried blood settling on the pool floor? I expect that regardless of the time, the body would still be floating as well, true?

I want to describe this scene correctly. Thanks.

Maryn
08-14-2010, 09:36 PM
I'm not a doctor or a CSI person, but I'll take a stab at answering, pun intended.

The body will sink fairly quickly and be found lying in the bottom of the pool until the gases formed by decomposition bring it to the surface. How quickly that happens depends on temperature. Warmer = faster.

The blood originally visible in the water might settle at the bottom, if the water is still, but assuming the pool has the usual automatic filtration system, the motion of the water through the filters will essentially stir the water enough to disperse the blood until it cannot be seen, although I imagine it could be detected chemically.

Maryn, sitting back to wait for experts to tell her she guessed wrong

RJK
08-14-2010, 09:37 PM
The blood would dissipate throughout the water, depending on the quantity of water to blood ratio, you might get some pink tinge (you'd be mixing < 8 quarts with moderate size pool of 15,000 gallons the blood/water ratio would be 8/60,000 or .0001333). The blood wouldn't settle or dry in the water.

Depending on how much air is left in the body's lungs, it will sink, either partially, or all the way to the bottom as the air escapes from the lungs. 24 hours isn't enough time for putrefying gas to accumulate inside the body to cause it to float. That will take several days.

Chase
08-14-2010, 11:05 PM
In addition to what the others have said, from hunting I know that once the heart stops beating, the body no longer bleeds. Only novice hunters "cut the throat" of large game animals already dead. They will not "bleed out."

As said, a large quantity of water will dissipate what little blood will ooze after death.

Stijn Hommes
08-15-2010, 12:43 AM
I know the blood won't flow, but won't the blood coming in contact with the water force it to dissolve because of difussion (low blood concentration in pool water, high in body, trying to even out by spreading the blood cells)?

barnicus
08-15-2010, 12:59 AM
I'm not a doctor or a CSI person, but I'll take a stab at answering, pun intended.


Thanks Maryn. I appreciate your helpfulness as well as having the courage to take credit for your pun. :D


(you'd be mixing < 8 quarts with moderate size pool of 15,000 gallons the blood/water ratio would be 8/60,000 or .0001333). The blood wouldn't settle or dry in the water.

Depending on how much air is left in the body's lungs, it will sink, either partially, or all the way to the bottom as the air escapes from the lungs.

Wow, really visual and specific. Thanks.



As said, a large quantity of water will dissipate what little blood will ooze after death.

Appreciate you reiterating this. It follows with what I'm hearing all the way around so far.


I know the blood won't flow, but won't the blood coming in contact with the water force it to dissolve because of difussion (low blood concentration in pool water, high in body, trying to even out by spreading the blood cells)?

Good question. I wouldn't know myself.

- Thanks everyone. You've been a source of insightfulness.

jclarkdawe
08-15-2010, 02:49 AM
There are an incredible amount of variables in this, but the short answer is most likely the body would sink within a few minutes, faster if the victim was thrashing around. Initially, it would float face down, with very little body surface above water. Shortly it would sink, drifting with the pool's currents until it reaches the body.

Longer answer is that this depends upon percentage of fat in the person, temperature of the water, and chemical composition of the water, including salt content. With a pool, it is possible for the body to float.

As decomposition begins, gases build up inside the body that will frequently cause it to float for a while. This will occur faster in a pool because of the higher temperature of the water. Then as those gases escape from the body, the body will again sink.

It is possible with a pool that within twenty-four hours the body would be floating again. I don't know enough to say whether it is probable.

Assuming a victim that is "thoroughly stabbed," I would assume that the victim died from bleeding out. That means he pumped blood through the knife wounds until his heart had insufficient blood. This means there would be very little blood left to leave the body after death.

Understand that very shortly after death the blood starts sort of clotting and going to the lowest part of the body. During an embalming, the blood has to be literally forced out of the veins and arteries.

If you want to figure the effect on the water, take a gallon of water and add red food dye. Then throw in pool. It would amount to very little. Think how little the effect of urine is on a pool.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

barnicus
08-15-2010, 04:02 AM
There are an incredible amount of variables in this,

Thanks for going through and explaining several of them. It reveals even the things I didn't know that I didn't know.

Lhun
08-15-2010, 04:36 AM
On a sidenote, you don't get a pink colour from diluted blood. Iirc it's yellowish. Coloured substances don't all keep their apparent colours when significantly diluted. Mostly because the visible colour changes from the reflected to the absorbed spectrum.
Not really important though, a human-portion of blood distributed in an entire swimming pool would be too finely diluted to cause much of any discolouration.
On another note, maybe some biologist here knows how the chlorine in a usual swimming pool would interact with the blood. Would it speed up or inhibit the clotting?

Tsu Dho Nimh
08-15-2010, 01:59 PM
At the beginning the blood would be flowing out and making the water red. Yes, and the water would lyse (rupture) the red cells so it gets even redder.

But what if the body wasn't discovered until 24 hours later? Would the water appear to be turned black from the dried blood settling on the pool floor?
The blood is not going to dry out and turn black - it's in WATER! You might see some settling of the hemoglobin protein, but it will stay red until they are decayed by microorganisms in the water.

After 24 hours, the body will be bloating and floating, and the pool water will be tinged pinkish (maybe yellowish as Lhun says). Depends in part on the size of the pool.

Blood running out into water doesn't coagulate - the proteins get diluted too much.

barnicus
08-15-2010, 09:12 PM
On a sidenote, you don't get a pink colour from diluted blood.

Thanks for the question you posed.



After 24 hours, the body will be bloating and floating, and the pool water will be tinged pinkish


Thanks for the answer you've given.

RJK
08-16-2010, 12:09 AM
[QUOTE=Tsu Dho Nimh;5240773] ... After 24 hours, the body will be bloating and floating, and the pool water will be tinged pinkish (maybe yellowish as Lhun says). Depends in part on the size of the pool.... /QUOTE]

From my own experiences, I've never seen a 24 hour old corpse bloat. In fact, I found one who'd been lying in her bed in a closed room for two weeks with only the slightest amount of bloat in the abdomen.

If you have the stomach for it, take a look at this site (http://australianmuseum.net.au/image/Putrefaction-4-to-10-days), where they show pictures and explain the decomposition process using a baby pig. At this site, they explain that bloating doesn't begin to show until between 4 to 10 days.

The OP's corpse will be under water, where insects will have difficulty getting at him, slowing the process considerably, until he surfaces.

RobinGBrown
08-16-2010, 12:49 PM
Assuming the victims lungs haven't ben punctured by the stabbing is it possible for trapped air in the lungs to provide enough bouyancy to keep the corpse afloat?

I'm guessing not but wondering if it's possible or likely?

jclarkdawe
08-16-2010, 05:11 PM
Assuming the victims lungs haven't ben punctured by the stabbing is it possible for trapped air in the lungs to provide enough bouyancy to keep the corpse afloat? No.

I'm guessing not but wondering if it's possible or likely? I've never seen it or heard it.

Within minutes of dying, a body has a slight negative bouyancy, sinking slowly depending upon the temperature, body fat, and how much salt is in the water. The body keeps sinking until neutral bouyancy is reached. Depending upon the depth of the lake, it might not reach the bottom.

As the body decomposes, gases will be produced in the gut, slowly causing a slight positive bouyancy, causing the body to start rising, maybe reaching to the surface, maybe not. As RJK says, this takes several days and surfacing may never happen.

However, a pool has a couple of factors that I'm not sure of. The chemicals used in pools increase the bouyancy of people (you tend to float a little higher in a pool than in a lake) as chlorine has salt in it. Temperatures of pools are a lot higher than lakes and rivers, increasing the speed of decomposition. My guess is that a pool in Florida or southern California, for instance, in direct sunshine, becomes very warm.In addition, a pool has currents created by the filter that might assist in a body rising.

I think most likely a body in a pool would not rise to the surface within twenty-four hours, but I wouldn't be shocked if it did.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

PeterL
08-16-2010, 06:59 PM
Depending on how fast and well the pool's filtration system works, there is a good chance that most of the blood solids would be collected within 24 hours.

Considering the chemicals added to a pool, the water would be denser, so the body would be much more likely to float than if it were in fresh water.

jclarkdawe
07-01-2011, 06:37 AM
You know, if you wait long enough, any question gets an answer.

From CNN:

(CNN) -- Authorities say the body of a woman who died in a Massachusetts public pool went undetected for days as swimmers continued to use the pool before the victim was found floating.

The body of Marie Joseph, 36, was discovered by teenagers Tuesday evening in the Vietnam Veterans Swimming Pool in Fall River, Massachusetts, according to Bristol County district attorney's spokesman Gregg Miliote.

Joseph had gone to the pool on Sunday with a 9-year-old neighbor and his family. She collided with the boy while the pair careened down a pool slide, Miliote said.

After the collision, the boy surfaced but the woman did not, he said.

It was not clear Thursday what happened after the collision or whether the boy and his family sought Joseph's whereabouts when they left the pool.

Authorities continued to investigate the cause of death Thursday.

The pool -- which is 12 feet deep at its deepest --- was described as "cloudy" by a health inspector who examined the pool Tuesday, according to the mayor of Fall River, William Flanagan.

A decomposing body can take a couple of days before it becomes buoyant, Miliote added.

"It is in many respects disturbing and unreal," said Massachusetts Conservation and recreation Commissioner Ed Lambert.

The lifeguards and managers of the swimming pool, along with the three health inspectors involved, have been placed on administrative leave, authorities said.

Twenty-four state pools have also been closed pending further investigation, according to Lambert.

Authorities say the swimmers who used the pool during the two days are not considered to be at risk for health problems.

Meanwhile, a host of Massachusetts state and municipal agencies are conducting independent investigations over the incident.So forty-eight hours seems to be the answer in this case.

Best of luck,


Jim Clark-Dawe

debirlfan
07-01-2011, 09:59 AM
That was on the local news tonight.

Uh, if the pool water is so murky that nobody notices the dead body at the bottom for two days, then I think it's time to clean the pool!!!

Ms Hollands
07-01-2011, 04:49 PM
There's no stabbing involved, but here's a very sad and extremely recent (ie, today's news) body found in a chlorinated pool. It seems she didn't float for more than 24hrs:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-13986769

RIP, poor lady.

AmsterdamAssassin
07-01-2011, 11:18 PM
There's no stabbing involved, but here's a very sad and extremely recent (ie, today's news) body found in a chlorinated pool. It seems she didn't float for more than 24hrs:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-13986769

RIP, poor lady.

Uh, check post #16...

This is a ridiculous story, though.

A regular swimmer says the pool is 4 meters deep and you cannot see anybody on the bottom.

The picture of the victim shows a colored Haitian woman. A dark-skinned body should've contrasted with the bottom of the pool.

Officials say the pool is checked before it is closed for the day. What do these people check?

The boy who noticed the victim hadn't resurfaced had told this to a lifeguard. The lifeguard evidently didn't check the pool, but figured the woman had left the pool.

The permit for the pool had expired December 31, 2010.

The woman drowned on Sunday. Two health inspectors checked the pool on Monday, after the pool hadn't been checked for a year. Another health inspector checked the pool on Tuesday, the body was found Tuesday evening around 2200 hours by teenagers breaking into the pool for a night swim [hey, there's already someone in the pool...]

I don't understand how anyone would enter a swimming pool where you cannot spot a dead woman on the bottom.

Ms Hollands
07-03-2011, 07:32 AM
Uh, check post #16...

This is a ridiculous story, though.




Sorry, I missed that one after reading the entire thread. Just a mistake. Regardless, a woman died in a pool and didn't float no matter how you may view the circumstances.