Warning: GRAPHIC DESCRIPTION OF DEATH
JT was off a few days in the last couple weeks. On my last evening shift of the tour, I was working with one of the officers from the station to the South of us. I like him. He's in a rock band and has funky hair.
We were dispatched to a Sudden Death. It took us through the last half of our shift.
It was over 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) in the apartment, with no AC and only a tiny window that didn't catch the breeze.
Our deceased was in his 50's, buck naked, and over 450 pounds. He expired beneath the kitchen table.
The M.E. called in extra help from the body snatchers and two crews showed up, bringing with them an extra-large body bag.
The body had only been there for about a day and a half, but in the heat, he had already begun to quickly decompose and bloat. His back was over the table legs, and when we moved the table from under him, some of the blistered flesh burst, spilling a clear goo that smelled similar to rotten eggs all over the floor and my boots.
His face was turning black and green. Some of the bodily fluid had leaked out of his nose after he died. It was blackish and tarry. Luckily, the maggots hadn't gotten to him yet.
I made sure to call the new recruit for our shift so he could come take a look (and smell). His Field Trainer was very thankful that I thought to include them in the learning she said. I didn't believe her. She seemed insincere.
When the transport company rolled him to get the plastic sheeting around him, that's when it got bad. The body started gassing. My partner for the night pulled his vest up over his face and just looked at me. "Nope! No! Uh uh."
There is no smell on earth like the gasses coming off of a decaying and decomposing body. It seems to stick to you and get into your mouth so you can taste it. It lingers and hours later you sometimes catch another whiff coming off of your clothes.
After rolling him, we could see the impressions on his back from the table leg and an extension cord he had fell onto.
Part of our job in a Sudden Death is to gather any medications, large amounts of cash, and things like the will, the suicide note in the case of a suicide, and notify the next of kin. We also help the M.E. to determine cause of death if we can. I usually check the fridge for meds.
Our deceased had the following in his fridge:
- 4 cases of diet ginger-ale
- 1 full bottle of Coke Classic
- 1 full bottle of Coke Zero
- 2 bottles of hot sauce
There was nothing else. There wasn't even a jar of mustard, a litre (quart) of milk, or a wilted head of lettuce.
On the ottoman was a massive pizza called the "T-REX" - salami, pepperoni, beef, ham, hot peppers and onions with double meat and double cheese, extra sauce, according to the printed chit taped to the box.
A half-empty (I realize that I thought of it as half-empty rather than half full - I must be getting more cynical as a cop) 60 oz. bottle of cheap vodka rounded out the dietary supplements for the gentleman.
With all of the heart meds and insulin that we found on the kitchen counter and in the freezer, it was clear that it was his lifestyle that killed him. Although the exact cause of death was undetermined, pending an autopsy, no one had any doubts that it was "natural" causes.
I think, I will be hitting the gym more regularly and trying to stay clear of the fast food a bit more.