Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsBiology · 10 years ago

how long does it take for a body to decompose in water?

I'm writing a screenplay, I know that's what they all say

But in this "screenplay" they find a lake where bodies have drowned and been piled up for a thousand years. Now my question: if criminal forensics would investigate this lake and the bodies they found, how "fresh" must the bodies be to actually be found? Would the oldest ones have decomposed completely or would there still be skeleton left? And if they had decomposed, would forensics be able to find microscopical (or bigger) remains of the older ones in some way?

So to sum up.

A: How long does it take for a body to decompose under fresh water (pretty cold)?

B: How long would it take for the skeleton to decompose?

C: Would there still be remains left to find after the skeleton decomposed?

Also: you don't have to worry about the bodies floating to the surface, i've got it covered.

And there are fish in the lake, if that matters.

Thanks!

6 Answers

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  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Decomposition is a function of a number of natural processes. Oxygen levels in the water, the water temp and the relative acidity of the water all play a factor. We still pull perfectly preserved bodies out of peat bogs hundreds of years after they were hanged and tossed in there.

    However, the fat layers in your skin start to react and expand in constant contact with water, so there will be some deformation of the corpse due to this within 24 hrs. After about a week, things start to get a bit loose, hands and feet can fall off. Of course there's also bloating within the cavity as the bacteria in the gut creates Methane, this is why you get, "Floaters." Though water temp will play a role in this. Most experienced killers will puncture the gut and intestine area of the torso to stop this from occurring.

    I would think you'd be pretty much all gone by six months, in water and your bones would be well dispersed. Skeletal remains in fresh water, might not break down too much if they were protected by a layer of mud. If it were the ocean, mineralization of exposed bones would pretty much dissolve the bones within a few years.

    A crime scene with that many bodies over such a long period would be treated as pretty strange and you'd probably need an anthropologist or seven to help with the investigation, also the remains would be scattered so you'd only know that there were a lot of bodies down there but only the recent deposits would make any sort of forensic sense.

    I'm a produced screenwriter with feature film and TV credits. I work mainly in genre film.

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  • 3 years ago

    Decomposing Body In Water

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  • trees
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Body Decomposition In Water

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  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    RE:

    how long does it take for a body to decompose in water?

    I'm writing a screenplay, I know that's what they all say

    But in this "screenplay" they find a lake where bodies have drowned and been piled up for a thousand years. Now my question: if criminal forensics would investigate this lake and the bodies they found, how...

    Source(s): long body decompose water: https://trimurl.im/h76/how-long-does-it-take-for-a...
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  • 7 years ago

    If the body is found sitting up in the bath tub and not found for a couple of days , would the body be in bad shape/badly decomposed?

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  • 10 years ago

    Too long. That gives the cops enough time to find it and look for evidence.

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