• Acidic and Basic Destruction of Tissues

      Eaton, Cydney
      A coroner’s case I had learned about involved a man attempting to dispose of a body with acid. Shortly after exposure, the man was apprehended and the body was located. Upon investigation, police force determined the acid used to be hydrochloric acid, however, exact concentration remains unknown (Kohr, 2010). This led to the question of which easily accessible acid works best to degrade tissue. To answer this, an experiment was conducted involving pig feet and various concentrations of common acids and a single strong base. The feet were submerged in the solutions overnight and mass percent lost or gained was calculated. Analysis showed that hydrochloric acid did, in fact, destroy the tissue the most, but at its highest concentration. This proved our hypothesis of nitric acid degrading the tissues the most to be incorrect. The acid used by the perpetrator was most likely at a concentration between 6 and 12 M. More acid as well as a larger container would have proved him to be more successful.