SHINIGAMITTS シニガミツ (mr_mitts) wrote in little_details,

Do Cadavers Float in Old Suitcases...?

Setting: A river runs through here
Date: Sometime in the 1920s
Search Terms: Much on bodies in suitcases (always useful), usually from newspaper or news articles, but very little on whether the era's rather bulky, heavy suitcases would do the same...

Not too complex a question and one I could simply cover with writer's fiat, but I'd rather know in full before fudging the details: a suitcase bobs down a wide, and very busy, city-bisecting river. Washed up on a patch of waste-ground, it is subsequently opened and found to contain the mutilated body of a young woman. She's been dead less than a day, her body not yet started decomposing. The corpse (is hopefully) quite dry, though that's not a necessity since she'll be cleaned up during the postmortem examination.

So: would a large, Edwardian-era suitcase float downriver with a body in it? Would such floating only occur after decomposition (in which case I could possibly move her death back a day or two, but I'd rather not)? What about the body itself; would a solidly built suitcase leak, leaving our body merely soggy, or would it flood and lead to a chemical and effluence soaked corpse?

Any other details on suitable luggage brands or knowledge of how suitcase-bound cadavers react or are reacted to would, of course, be greatly helpful!

Thanks in advance...

Tags: ~boats and other things that float, ~forensics: corpses

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