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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 135794 Find in a Library
Title: Determining the Evaporation Rate of Latent Impressions on the Exterior Surfaces of Aluminum Beverage Cans
Journal: Journal of Forensic Identification  Volume:42  Issue:2  Dated:(March/April 1992)  Pages:84-90
Author(s): J F Schwabenland
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 7
Type: Report (Technical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This experiment outlines specific criteria to adopt, modify, or reject to meet the particular needs of a criminal investigation if durability determination of a latent impression is essential.
Abstract: In 1984, the bodies of a Mexican female adult and her 2-year-old daughter were discovered by a realtor who was showing agricultural property to a client. There were no gunshot or stab wounds, no bleeding or stains on the clothing, and no skin slippage or decomposition. The lips of the child had some vomit residue, and both bodies were side-by-side and on their backs. During an extensive search of the crime scene, two 12-ounce Budweiser brand aluminum cans were located. Both these cans were a short distance from the bodies. Each can was photographed, and its position on the dirt clods near the bodies was noted. Homicide investigators determined that the cans had been exposed to full sun for 8 hours. They also found out that the victim and her boyfriend had been having some personal problems. The boyfriend said he had picked up his girlfriend and her daughter and then bought some Budweiser beer in cans and some fried chicken. He stated he and his girlfriend ate the chicken and drank the beers a week ago, not the preceding night. A print developed from one of the cans was a match to the boyfriend's right thumb. Other evidence collected at the scene included a partial tire tread impression, and this was identified as having been made by the right tire of the boyfriend's vehicle. An experiment was initiated to replicate the boyfriend's story and assess its validity. It was determined that high-quality latent impressions with clear ridge detail could not have remained on the exterior surfaces of the aluminum beer cans for 1 week. The boyfriend was subsequently found guilty on two counts of second-degree murder. 1 table and 1 figure
Main Term(s): Latent fingerprints
Index Term(s): Criminal investigation; Evidence collection; Forensic sciences; Homicide investigations
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