Detection of cocaine and metabolites from mouse femur buried in soil

Leg Med (Tokyo). 2019 Mar:37:1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2018.11.005. Epub 2018 Nov 9.


Drug addicts are frequently involved in committing homicides, and burial in the ground is often performed by offenders for body disposal. Therefore, toxicological analyses of buried bones are vitally important for investigating the cause and circumstance of death. Cocaine concentrations in heart blood, femoral muscle, and femur were measured in mice after injections of 5, 15, and 30 mg/kg cocaine and in femurs buried in soil. The concentrations of cocaine in femurs (253.67-1345.31 ng/g) were higher than those found in heart blood (3.14-28.73 ng/mL) and femoral muscle (76.41-429.76 ng/g). The cocaine concentrations in buried femurs (54.83-388.68 ng/g) were significantly lower than those in unburied femurs (253.67-1345.31 ng/g). Further, cocaine was detected in femurs after being buried for 7-180 days in soil. These findings indicate that cocaine concentrations are higher in bone than in heart blood and femoral muscle and that the concentration decreases after burial in soil.

Keywords: Benzoyl ecgonine; Cocaine; Ecgonine methyl ester; Femur; LC-MS/MS; Soil.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biotransformation
  • Burial*
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Cocaine / analysis*
  • Cocaine / metabolism*
  • Femur / metabolism*
  • Forensic Medicine*
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Soil*
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry
  • Time Factors


  • Soil
  • Cocaine