Documentation of the crime scene starts with the first responder and does not conclude until the scene is released and the evidence has been impounded.
Physical evidence comes in all shapes and sizes, and there are multiple search patterns that are used to identify evidence. These patterns include line/strip search (used by one or two investigators who walk in straight lines across the crime scene) this method is best used in scenes where the boundaries are well established because the boundaries dictate the beginning and end of the search lines, grid search (two or more people who perform overlapping line searches forming a grid) is best used when boundaries are well established, spiral search (investigator moves in an inward spiral from the boundary to the center of the scene or in an outward spiral from the center to the boundary of a scene) is good when the searcher is moving from an area light in evidence to an area that has more evidence, wheel/ray search (several people move from the boundary straight toward the center of the scene (inward) or from the center straight to the boundary (outward)) is not preferred because areas in-between are not being searched, and quadrant/zone search (the crime scene is divided into smaller sections (zones or quadrants) and team members are assigned to search each section; each of these sections can be subdivided into smaller sections for smaller teams to search thoroughly) is best for large areas. Notes, photographs and sketches are the three methods for crime-scene recording. The notes should start by identifying the person who contacted the investigator, the time of the contact, and any preliminary information disclosed, including the case number. When the lead investigator arrives, the note-taker should record the date and time of arrival, which is present, and the identities of any other personnel who are being contacted. If others are being contacted their names, titles, and