17,284. That is the number of people who were murdered in the United States in 2017, the last year a full set of data is available regarding homicides in the country. Unfortunately, the tragedy of having a loved one murdered can happen, even in seeming safe communities. Moreover, a considerable percentage of homicides happen in homes, oftentimes by criminal home invaders. The aftermath of the homicide of a family member can be overwhelming in a number of different ways. In this regard, understanding how to get your house cleaned after a murder at your residence is vital.
Your Home Is a Crime Scene
The moment someone is murdered in your home, your residence becomes something more than the place you and your family resides. Your home is a crime scene. Thus, before delving into the specifics of what to do to get your home cleaned in the aftermath of a homicide, you must understand what needs to happen after this type of death in your home.
Naturally, law enforcement and emergency services personnel need to be called to the scene. In addition, the county coroner will also come to your harm as part of the comprehensive investigatory team.
Between the time 911 is called and officials arrive at the scene, you need to be certain to stay clear of the crime scene. (The only caveat is if the victim is alive and you need to provide life-saving assistance.) You also need to keep others from entering the crime scene. There are three primary purposes of why staying away from the crime scene is imperative.
First, depending on the circumstances, the possibility might exist that the perpetrator of the homicide is still lurking in the area. Second, the crime scene must be left undisturbed. In order to collect evidence that can be used in the prosecution of the perpetrator, the crime scene must not be compromised in any way. Finally, and as will be discussed more fully in a moment, a homicide scene can present a biologically hazardous situation. In other words, you need to protect yourself and others from exposure to dangerous pathogens that can be present at the scene of a murder victim.
Professional Murder Scene Cleanup
Responsibility for cleaning a murder scene rests with you was the owner of a residence or immediate family member. Governmental agencies like the police, coroner, or some other official are not responsible for murder scene cleanup.
Because you are responsible for a murder scene cleanup at your home, you theoretically can undertake the task on your own. You must have certain materials in order to safely and thoroughly undertake murder scene cleanup. These materials include:
- Equipment, supplies, and materials to remove biological matter and clean up or dispose of contaminated items at the scene
- Access to California state approved containers to dispose of biohazards
- Access to licensed biohazard transport and disposal professionals
- Complete personal protective equipment
- Access to medical grade sanitization agents
- Access to high-power deodorization supplies and equipment
The reality is that you are not all likely to have access to these items.
In addition, having a loved one murdered is one of the most emotionally traumatic events that can happen during the course of a person’s lifetime. Thus, if you ever end up in this type of situation, you must give serious thought to further aggravating your grief and emotional state by taking on a murder scene cleanup on your own.
Engaging the services of an experienced, qualified, compassionate murder scene cleanup specialist is the recommended course of action for you to take. You should reach out to biohazard remediation professional as soon as possible.
Bear in mind that a murder scene cleanup service cannot begin work at a residence until the scene is released by law enforcement and the coroner. These officials conduct a thorough crime scene investigation. Depending on the circumstances, this can take a matter of hours to even over a day.
The remains of the homicide victim will be transported to the coroner’s office for an autopsy. When that is completed, typically within 24 to 48 hours, the body is transported to the funeral home you’ve selected.
You should be as proactive as possible in getting a murder scene cleanup professional to your home once investigators are finished with their work. Typically, you will be able to connect with a remediator around the clock, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
A professional murder scene cleanup professional will provide you with an accurate, concrete estimate of costs. In addition, you will have payment options that include cash, check, debit or credit card, or a payment service like PayPal. The payment typically is due when the cleanup is completed.
Keep in mind that you may have access to two resources to assist in paying the costs associated with a murder scene cleanup:
- Home owner’s insurance may provide coverage for some of the costs of a crime scene cleanup at your home
- The California Victim Compensation Board may provide up to $1,000 to go towards the payment of costs associated with a residential murder scene cleanup
A professional murder scene cleanup professional utilizes a multifaceted approach to remediation a homicide scene. These steps are:
- Physical removal and cleanup of biological matter and contaminated items
- Sanitization of the homicide scene
- Deodorization of the homicide scene
The ultimate goal of professional murder scene cleanup is the full restoration of a residence to the state it was in before the crime. By eliminating any trace of the crime, a house is returned to a safe, livable state.