Natural Resources, School of


Date of this Version


Document Type



Published in Journal of Forensic Science, 2017. doi: 10.1111/1556-4029.13463


Copyright © 2017 American Academy of Forensic Sciences; published by John Wiley & Sons. Used by permission.


Pollen analysis was applied to a mummified homicide victim in Nebraska, U.S.A., to determine the location of death. A control sample showed the normal ambient pollen in the garage crime scene. Ambient windborne types, common in the air of the region, dominated the control. Internal samples were analyzed from the sacrum, intestine, and diaphragm. Microfossils were recovered from the rehydrated intestine lumen. The intestinal sample was dominated by Brassica (broccoli). The sacrum sample was high in dietary types but with a showing of ambient types. The pollen from the diaphragm was dominated by ambient pollen similar to the control samples. The discovery of diverse pollen spectra from within a single mummy was unexpected. They show that ingested and inhaled pollen mixed in the corpse. The data linked the decedent to a specific crime scene in her Nebraska home in the southern tier of eastern counties on the border with Kansas.