Homicide Investigation Collecting Evidence

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Nothing is more crucial to any investigation than the actions of the first officers on the scene and the actions they take regarding the preservation of the crime scene, detention of witnesses and an arrest if possible. The immediate objective of the first officers on the scene must be the safety of all parties involved and all else follows Crime scene preservation should be the most important step to any first responder. This protocol should continue to be followed by anyone who processes the scene. From the moment the first responder arrives at the scene, he/she should exercise a pertinacious attitude to insure that curious onlookers and personnel who are not involved in a task related to the scene, remain outside the cordoned perimeter. Without this first step, evidence found at the scene can be compromised or worse destroyed which could result in possibly ruining any opportunity to create a strong case to arrest and convict a suspect. Once secured, the crime scene can be processed. There is a basic protocol that all investigators follow and even though each crime scene is different with a vast array of circumstances the basic procedures remain the same. “Evidence used to resolve an issue can be split into two areas. Testimonial evidence and physical evidence. The testimonial evidence would be any witnessed accounts of an incident. The physical evidence would refer to any material items that would be present on the crime scene.” (Amos, 2011) These items would be presented in an issue or incident to prove or disprove the facts of the issue. What will evidence collected at a scene do for the investigation? It proves that a crime has been committed, establish any key elements of a crime, link a suspect with a scene, establish the identity of a victim or suspect, corroborate verbal witness testimony, and exonerate the innocent. This would be the first task to perform. The investigator would interview the first responder and gather as much information from him/her as possible. Some important points would be the type of crime that was committed, in what area it was committed, and how it might have been carried out. Other people who would be interviewed would be the neighbors, passersby, anyone who may have seen and/or heard anything that would assist the police in apprehending the perpetrator. Also, sometime during the investigation interview all associates and family members of the victim in an attempt to establish possible motives for homicide and identification of perpetrator. They will be more than happy to provide information. Visit victim's place of employment or location of recreational activities such as a street corner. Some of the challenges confronting an investigator during this phase could be neighbors giving conflicting information regarding what was seen or heard, finding those individuals who were in direct proximity of the crime scene prior to and immediately after the crime was committed, or not having any witnesses at all. The evidence that is located and recovered at a scene will give the detectives responsible for the investigation leads to work with in the case. The types of evidence that can be collected are, impressions include fingerprints, tool marks, footwear, fabric impressions, tire marks and bite marks. Forensic Biology includes blood, semen, body fluids, hair, nail scrapings, blood stain patterns. Trace Evidence includes gunshot residues, arson accelerant, paint, glass and fibers. Firearms include weapons, gun powder patterns, casings, projectiles, fragments, pellets, wadding and cartridges. “Run a gun check if a firearm has been recovered and have the firearm traced...after it has processed by Crime Scene Unit. Confer with ballistics and make frequent follow up inquiries since a gun not recovered may be used in another crime at a later date.” (Fielder, 2011) The recognition or discovery of evidence begins with the initial search of the scene. “The...
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