"Iowa's rich topsoil and climate have nourished some of the nation's most plentiful corn and soybean crops. Tyler O'Brien wants to learn more about their influence on rotting corpses.
A biological anthropology professor at the University of Northern Iowa, O'Brien envisions turning some prime Iowa pasture into a body farm, where human bodies - buried, stuffed in car trunks or exposed to the elements - can provide scholars and criminalists with new benchmark data on human decay.
'This idea has strong scientific value,' O'Brien said. 'To answer the question of how long a body has been dead, how long a person has been missing, is critical to criminal investigations.'
O'Brien is seeking a grant of $400,000 to $500,000 from the National Institute of Justice and other organizations to obtain the land and set up the project."