skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 251441 Find in a Library
Title: Linking Suspects to Crime Scenes With Particle Populations
Corporate Author: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
Date Published: December 2017
Page Count: 2
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
810 Seventh Street NW
Washington, DC 20531
United States of America
Document: HTML
Type: Factsheet
Format: Factsheet
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article summarizes the findings and methodology of a research project that tested “very small particles” (VSP) from actual pieces of evidence held by the San Diego Sheriff’s Office, applying established analytical and interpretive methods to determine the evidential value of such particles.
Abstract: The two researchers who conducted this study have a background of research into the forensic value of VSP populations. Their earlier research established the viability of using VSP for two important forensic purposes, i.e., matching an object found at a crime scene to a suspect’s vehicle or residence and tracing the recent history of where an object has been. The current study sought to determine the evidential value of VSP profiles found on handguns, cell phones, drug packaging, and ski masks. After sampling and analyzing the VSP populations from the objects, the researchers found that the data were sufficient to permit quantitative associations among specimens. The number of particles recovered was greatest from the plastic drug packaging, intermediate for the cell phones and firearms, and low for the ski masks. Researchers concluded that the evidence type itself is acting as a carrier of the VSP signal that has resulted from its history of exposure to particles. Other items of evidence of any type that have a common history of exposure will also act as carriers of a closely related VSP signal. Thus, VSP on a weapon or tool left at a crime scene can be compared and linked with VSP from a suspect’s residence or pocket.
Main Term(s): Forensic sciences
Index Term(s): Crime Scene Analysis; Crime Scene Investigation; Evidence identification; Investigative techniques; Trace evidence
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.