Drug facilitated sexual assault with lethal outcome: GHB intoxication in a six-year-old girl

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Lena-Maria Mehling, Sys Stybe Johansen, Xin Wang, Elke Doberentz, Burkhard Madea, Cornelius Hess

A very serious case of DFSA (drug facilitated sexual assault) is presented, in which a six-year-old girl died following sedation with γ-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB). She had been sexually abused by a relative. Samples of cardiac blood, bile, vitreous humour, liver, kidney, brain tissues and hair were analysed by a LC-MS/MS method. The following GHB concentrations were determined: cardiac blood: 150 mg/l; bile: 292mg/l; vitreous humour: 58mg/l; liver: 100 mg/kg; kidney: 124.5 mg/kg, brain: 110 mg/kg. Very high GHB levels were found in the proximal part of the hair sample (about 40.9 ng/mg). In distal segments of hair - up to 12 cm distant from the hair scalp - GHB concentrations were higher than the overall found endogenous range of 2-3 ng/mg. Police investigations revealed that the uncle had also administered GHB to the older half-sister. Therefore, a sample of her hair was analysed accordingly, but unremarkable results were obtained. Comparing our toxicological results with police investigations and the offender's statements it can be assumed that the 6-year-old girl had ingested GHB. By exclusion of other causes of death a lethal intoxication with GHB could be confirmed.

TidsskriftForensic Science International
Sider (fra-til)e25-e31
StatusUdgivet - feb. 2016

ID: 162349975