Asphyxiation by Occlusion of Nose and Mouth by Duct Tape: Two Unusual Suicides
Article first published online: 8 SEP 2009
© 2009 American Academy of Forensic Sciences
Journal of Forensic Sciences
Volume 54, Issue 6, pages 1453–1455, November 2009
How to Cite
DeRoux, S. and Leffers, B. (2009), Asphyxiation by Occlusion of Nose and Mouth by Duct Tape: Two Unusual Suicides. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 54: 1453–1455. doi: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2009.01157.x
- Issue published online: 23 OCT 2009
- Article first published online: 8 SEP 2009
- Received 9 Sept. 2008; and in revised form 10 Nov. 2008; accepted 21 Nov. 2008.
- forensic science;
- duct tape;
- airway occlusion;
- forensic pathology
Abstract: The most recent U.S. statistics (2005) determined that 22.2% of suicides are by suffocation. This number likely includes suicidal hanging. Based on previous reports the majority of nonhanging suicidal asphyxiations are accomplished by securing a plastic bag over the head. We report two instances of a far less common method of suicidal asphyxiation, occlusion of the nose and mouth by duct tape. One was a 47-year-old man with a history of paranoid schizophrenia with suicidal ideation and the other was a 52-year-old man who was depressed due to gambling debts. The value of scene investigation, including review of available video surveillance to determine the manner of death is highlighted.