A decapitated body was found down an embankment beside a road that ran alongside a river. A search of the surrounding area by police revealed, 2 days later, a severed head in the river several kilometers downstream, wedged between two rocks . The body, which was subsequently identified as that of a 35-year-old male, was taken for forensic autopsy. At autopsy the head was matched to the body. Both showed changes of decomposition with skin slippage and bloating, although more so of the head. The head had been severed from the body with multiple chop/incised wounds through the cervical soft tissue and the third cervical vertebra associated with relatively superficial incised wounds of the right shoulder. There was no evidence of hemorrhage into the tissues at the edges of the incised wounds. Two bullet entrance wounds were also found in the skull: a circular defect measuring 8 mm in diameter immediately behind the right ear and an oval defect measuring 10 9 12 mm in the right posterior occiput 25 mm from the midline. There were no corresponding exit wounds and two fragmented bullets were found within the cranial cavity. Examination of the remainder of the body revealed no other significant trauma or any natural diseases that could have caused or contributed to death. Toxicology was not performed. Death was attributed to gunshot wounds to the head followed by postmortem decapitation with a large sharp edged weapon such as a machete. The incised wounds to the right shoulder most likely had occurred as the head was being severed. Subsequent police investigations revealed that the decedent had been shot elsewhere and then placed in the trunk of his rented car. The body was then driven by the perpetrator to an isolated area where the head had been removed while the body was still in the trunk. The body was dumped over the side of the road and the head taken several kilometers downstream and thrown into the river. As a result of the murder the perpetrator received a sentence of 25 years in custody.