The identification and individualization of biological evidences is crucial to actual criminal investigations. In spite of the differences at the national level, all the legal processes attribute particular importance to forensic DNA analysis. However, none of the qualified results from any professional laboratory can produce substantive, valuable evidence with insufficient quality of samples and/or problems with provision of a pristine and controlled environment. The methodology and efficiency of sampling are distinct in case of living persons and in medico-legal autopsy and crime scenes. This chapter is a short overview from the basic introductory information up to ongoing research, and in accordance with constraints on the chapter size, it briefly discusses the important topics of sample collection at medico-legal autopsy for DNA analysis. The content sorts the major types of samples, reviews the common methods of sampling and the potential risk of poor sampling or contamination transfer. The corpses can be more or less degraded, which in special cases (e.g., paraffin embedded tissues, drowned, burning and/or buried cadaver) allow only for analysis of highly degraded samples. The samples can be associated with tissues of a corpse (e.g., blood, soft tissues, bone, tooth, hair) and/or additional extraneous tissues and remains, which are often mixed (e.g., blood, saliva, semen, vaginal fluid, debris of fingernails) on the corpse.
Part of the book: Post Mortem Examination and Autopsy