Goosegrass fruit as a forensic indicator A number of plants, such as goose grass (Gallium apocrine).

Goosegrass fruit as a forensic indicator A number of plants, such as goose grass (Gallium apocrine) (Fig. 9.11), also known as cleavers or sticky willy, wild carrot (Caucus carotid), and lesser burdock (Actium minus) disperse by producing seeds that are armed with hooks designed to catch onto the coat of passing animals. They also latch onto clothing and hair and can be extremely daffy cult to remove. They therefore have forensic potential in associating a person with a locality and/or their activities, especially if a reliable DNA match can be made. An interesting case has been described

Goosegrass fruit as a forensic indicator A number of plants, such as goose grass (Gallium apocrine) (Fig. 9.11), also known as cleavers or sticky willy, wild carrot (Caucus carotid), and lesser burdock (Actium minus) disperse by producing seeds that are armed with hooks designed to catch onto the coat of passing animals. They also latch onto clothing and hair and can be extremely daffy cult to remove. They therefore have forensic potential in associating a person with a locality and/or their activities, especially if a reliable DNA match can be made. An interesting case has been described in Germany ( http://www.strate.net/e/publications/weimar.php3 ) in which the fully clothed body of a young girl was found in undergrowth: she had a regular distribution of goose grass fruit over her whole body, including the inside of her trousers and on her underwear amounting to 362 fruit in total. The number and distribution suggested that the girl did not pick up the fruit whilst playing in which case they would have been concentrated on her legs. Goose grass tends to grow among nettles so it is unlikely that any child would roll around on the ground where they occur. The presence of the fruit inside the trousers was considered suspicious because they are itchy and the normal reaction would be to stop whatever you are doing and remove them. This, in conjunction with other evidence, led the investigators to believe that the girl was not dressed in the trousers she was found in at the time of her death. Instead, they think that the dead girl was transported to a site close to where she was found dressed only in her underwear. There she was laid down on the ground and dressed a trampled area where goose grass was growing was identified as the likely spot and this would explain the even distribution of goosegrass fruit and the presence of the fruit inside the clothes.

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