Submerged corpse found 24 years after the murder - a case study
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Department of Criminology and Forensic Science Faculty of Law and Administration University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn
Department of Civil Law and Private International Law Faculty of Law and Administration University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn
Department of Criminal Proceedings and Criminal Executory Law Faculty of Law and Administration University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn
Department of Civil Procedure and Legal Protection Faculty of Law and Administration University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn
Submission date: 2022-11-08
Final revision date: 2023-06-05
Acceptance date: 2023-06-06
Publication date: 2023-07-29
Corresponding author
Andrzej Gawliński   

Department of Criminology and Forensic Science Faculty of Law and Administration University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn
JoMS 2023;51(2):352-374
The main objectives of this paper are to define the issues related to a search for a drowned corpse, fishing it out and procedures to take evidence when the victim’s body has not been found.

Material and methods:
A case analysis was performed in which the criminal covered up traces by drowning the corpse. An extensive study in this regard was conducted covering 500 criminal cases concluded with a final and binding judgement. Finding a corpse in a lake 24 years after the crime is a case described in detail in this paper. The authors obtained the consent of the District Prosecutor and the District Court in Olsztyn for publishing the case materials.

Neither the process of the corpse search nor fishing it out were carried out properly in the case under study. The large number of search attempts was caused by poor coordination of the search groups and by using unsuitable tools. Most methods were ineffective given the small size of the package resting on the water reservoir bed.

A search for a drowned corpse requires good cooperation between the search team and law enforcement authorities and later with forensic medicine specialists in establishing the cause of death.

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