2013-08-25 14:49:04 -
Solving Pinay's Murder In London Helped By Flies
How the brutal murder of a Filipina careworker in London in 2009 was solved by Scotland Yard's "Bug Scientists"
Real Life CSI's helped convict murderer by analysis of blow-fly eggs
The following is how the [London] Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), popularly known as Scotland Yard, solved the brutal murder of a Filipino careworker in London.
It details how besides the identification of her body, tracking down of her last movements by her electronic Oyster Travel Card and the use by the murderer of her ATM card, forensic evidence in the form of the study of flies and their maggots proved crucial in securing the arrest and subsequent conviction of her killer.
The family of Leah
Questin have given their permission for this case study to be used. They hope that forensic entomology and the further research into it will help law enforcement agencies solve more crimes.
Leah's family are understandably still in pain and are still mourning their loss, they asked that this case study is dealt with the upmost sensitivity.
Leah Questin was a care nurse who had come to the UK from the Philippines in 2008, specifically to fund her education in health care.
Leah had a relatively small circle of friends and colleagues and used the internet as a way of meeting people.
In mid August 2009, she responded to an advert posted by IT specialist Clinton Bailey. The pair met and then formed what she hoped was the beginning of a romantic relationship.
During this brief four-week period, Bailey persuaded Leah to devote her time and attention to him. Leah even lent him money whenever he asked for it.
In mid September 2009, Leah was reported as missing to the [London] Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) Missing Persons Unit in Brent by a friend who had not seen her and was growing concerned for her safety.
London wide media appeals to trace Leah then followed, during which CCTV stills of her alighting a route 172 bus on 12 September 2009, in the Elephant and Castle area in South London were released.
On 24 September 2009, a member of the public alerted officers from Kent Constabulary to a suitcase abandoned in a dried-up pond, known locally as The Old Pond, by farmland off Buckland Road in Cliffe, near Rochester, Kent about 30 miles from London.
Forensic entomology played a significant role in bringing this case to a conclusion by estimating the time-lines involved.
It helped to narrow the High Priority actions in the early stages of the investigation, allowing officers to prioritise and concentrate on certain lines on enquiries.
The entomological evidence also aligned with other evidence gathered regarding the time of deposition of the body at the site where it was recovered.
Scientists were able to establish that despite Leah's body being badly decomposed her stomach contents gave a relatively accurate period when the death could have taken place.
Full story and forensic photos: