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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 210509 Find in a Library
Title: Obtaining Fingerprint and Palmprint Impressions From Decomposed Bodies or Burn Victims Using the Mikrosil Casting Method
Journal: Journal of Forensic Identification  Volume:55  Issue:4  Dated:July/August 2005  Pages:471-479
Author(s): Ricardo Tomboc; Mark Schrader
Date Published: July 2005
Page Count: 9
Type: Instructional Material
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This report discusses the effectiveness of using the Mikrosil casting method to obtain exemplar fingerprints and palmprints from cadavers, as well as the advantages of this method over other traditional methods.
Abstract: This report describes three cases in which Mikrosil casts were used for identifying bodies, one being a decomposed, mummified body; another had a skin condition (eczema) over the entire body; and the third was a body that had been buried under concrete for almost 6 years. In the first case, the victim's fingers were wrinkled, shriveled, dehydrated, and hardened. After cleaning and drying the fingers, a layer of black latent fingerprint powder was applied. Paper was rolled and placed between the victim's fingers to keep them separate, and enough Mikrosil was mixed to cover the surface area of three fingers. After about 15 minutes of setting time, the cast was peeled off each finger. The fingerprint powder that had been applied to the fingers stuck to the cast, producing a high-contrast, highly detailed, three-dimensional mold of the subject's finger. The fingerprint orientation on the cast remains the same as if one were looking at a normal inked fingerprint impression. The author has taken casts directly to the Cal-ID/Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) Division, where the cast is captured directly into the computer through the use of a digital camera. Recently Cal-ID/AFIS Division personnel asked the author to stop using the black powder and use the casts by themselves. Apparently this works better for direct capture into the AFIS. This casting technique has saved hundreds of hours over the traditional soaking technique. 8 figures and 7 references
Main Term(s): Police policies and procedures
Index Term(s): Death investigations; Fingerprint image quality; Fingerprints; Investigative techniques; Victim identification
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