State of Decomposition and Smell

by Janelle
(Brisbane, Australia)

Photo Credit: Hockadilly

Photo Credit: Hockadilly

I'm writing a crime novel and need to know what state of decomposition a clothed female body would be in after 8 months when buried (in Brisbane Australia) with temperatures ranging from 37.4 - 93.2f.

The body is buried in winter, in a hole dug in the garden, had lime thrown over it (the garden fertilizer type not quick lime), had the dirt thrown back over, and then had a large compost bin placed over the top.

The compost bin is the large black plastic type where the compost is thrown in the top which is lidded, and the bottom of the bin is open to the ground. The compost bin would have been moved from its previous position in the garden (done normally by tilting the bin off - not easy), moving it to the new site, placing it over the top, and then re-filling with the composting material from the previous site.

Would the smell of the decaying body be obvious in the week or so afterwards? (the compost bin normally smells, although not hugely while the lid is on) Would a cadaver dog be able to sniff the body buried there 8 months later?

What state of decomposition would the body be in at this time?

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