Functional data analysis in forensic entomology
Larvae (or maggots) collected at crime scenes contribute important pieces of information to police investigations. Their hatching time provides a lower bound for the post-mortem interval, i.e. the interval between death and the discovery of the body. A functional data analysis approach is described here to model the local growth rate from the experimental data on larval development, where larvae have been exposed to a small number of constant temperature profiles. This allows us to reconstruct varying temperature growth profiles and use them to estimate the hatching time for a sample of larvae from the crime scene.