A body was found dead in the refrigerator at 5:30am at 6 am the coroner measured the core temp of the body to be 85 degrees at 6:30 it was measured again, 84 degrees. Assume the body was killed in the refrigerator what time was the person killed?

I figured this part out. I used:

dT/dt = k(T-Tm)

Solving this:

T(t) = (T-Tm)e^kt +Tm

T is the temperature at time t and Tm is the temp around the body, the environmental temperature.

I solved this and got t = 5.3.

We needed to use positive numbers for t so the book assigned 6:00 am to t = 0 and so t= 1 would be 5 am and t = 5.3 would be roughly 12:42am.

Before I go to the next part I understand you can solve this with something called Laplace Transform but I haven’t learned that yet.

That part I think I understand. Now assume that the person wasn’t killed in the refrigerator and let h represent the number of hours in the refrigerator. So at h = 1 the body was moved in to the refrigerator at 5:00am what time was the person killed? And so on with h = 1 then 2 then 3 …

Filling in this chart:

h time body moved time of death.

12 6:00pm

11

10

9

8

7

6

5

4

3

2

1

I think my trouble is this idea of ‘h’

Numbers that need to be known are

Tm in the refrigerator is 50 degrees F

Tm in the diner is 70 degrees F

The person was initially 98.6 degrees

In the beginning I solved for e^k which I got 1.06

So the equations I’m working with is:

In refrigerator

T(t) = (T-50)(1.06)^h + 50 (*)

In the diner:

T(t) = (T-70)(1.06)^t + 70 (**)

I thought I needed to work backwards

If he was in the refrigerator for h= 1 plug this into (*) but I get 83 which doesn’t make sense because he needed to be warmer when he went into the refrigerator to be cooled down to 85. I was looking for that number to be 88 or 87 ish then I could use that as the target temp for (**) to solve for the time to get to 88 or 87 ish.

If you could be any help that would be great. Thanks