$500K CT scanner expected to facilitate murder investigations in Florida

Florida’s Orange County is investing half a million dollars in a CT scanner for its local morgue, a move expected to speed up the autopsy process and facilitate criminal investigations without cutting into victims’ bodies, WFTV reported this week.

The CT machine county officials have their eyes on is one currently being used in fewer than 10 places worldwide, according to WFTV. Data collected from the CT, which will “slice” bodies into three-dimensional layers each the thickness of five stacked pieces of paper, can be used in court as evidence in murder trials or simply in the morgue to determine if a patient died of heart disease or a stroke.

Joshua Stephany, the chief medical examiner in Orange County, told WFTV the CT will be able to generate a 3D image of a full body within two minutes. The addition will be of particular use in sensitive cases, where victims’ families want to avoid cutting into a body or face.

Stephany also said the machine could be useful in the case of another mass casualty incident, like the one at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, since it speeds up doctors’ work.

“If we had a CT scan at that time, those individuals could have come in, get a full body scan [sic], we would have known exactly where the projectiles are in three dimensions,” he said. “And the speed would’ve been much faster.”

Read WFTV’s full report below.