Dead Bodies Found in Wells

Dogan K. H. , Demirci S., Erkol Z., GÜLMEN M. K. , Deniz I.

AMERICAN JOURNAL OF FORENSIC MEDICINE AND PATHOLOGY, vol.31, no.3, pp.208-212, 2010 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 31 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Doi Number: 10.1097/paf.0b013e3181d3dbbb
  • Page Numbers: pp.208-212


Corpses found in wells or lime pits must be identified and the cause and manner of death must be determined. There are several circumstances that may lead to the presence of corpses in wells. In this study, 3940 death examinations and autopsies, performed at the Konya Branch of Forensic Medicine Council (Turkey) between 2000 and 2007, were retrospectively investigated, and it was found that 18 (0.46%) of the bodies had been recovered from wells. The cases were evaluated in terms of their demographic features, manner of death (accidental, suicidal, or homicidal), autopsy findings, cause of death, and the characteristics of the wells in which they were found. The ages of the victims ranged from 4 to 74 years, and the average age was 40. 4 +/- 20.6 years. Of total, 16 cases were males and 2 were females. The manner of death was determined to be accidental in 10 of the cases, suicide in 6 of the cases, and homicide in the remaining 2 cases. In 7 of the cases, death had occurred as a result of drowning in water. A comprehensive scene investigation and autopsy must be performed for corpses recovered from wells and pits for both identification and determination of the cause and manner of death. Wells should be covered and kept closed at all times to reduce the number of accidental deaths resulting from falls into wells.