The aim of this study was to highlight the importance of evaluating entomological evidence in forensic investigations on a regional scale. To evaluate climatic, geographical and environmental influences on the selection of carrion-breeding fauna in Northern Italy and consequently on inferred forensic data (post-mortem intervals and post-mortem transfer), we present details of six indoor-outdoor cases.
Results show that the most abundant species was Lucilia sericata, together with other fly species of entomo-forensic interest, belonging to the Calliphoridae and Sarcophagidae families. In particular, for the first time in Italy, we report finding Phormia regina, Lucilia ampullacea, Lucilia caesar and Sarcophaga (Pandelleana) protuberans on fresh cadavers. The active period of L. sericata in Northern Italy, according to previous findings in Southern Europe, revealing clearcut differences with phenologies in Northern Europe, has important consequences in estimating the period (season, months) of death in cases of long post-mortem intervals (several months or years) if empty puparia of this fly are found. According to our results, the distribution of L. sericata in areas with urban sprawl, like Northern Italian regions, cannot be used to evaluate post-mortem transfer from an urban area to a rural one.