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NCJ Number: 229274 Find in a Library
Title: Use of Liquid Latex for Soot Removal From Fire Scenes and Attempted Fingerprint Development with Ninhydrin
Journal: Journal of Forensic Sciences  Volume:54  Issue:6  Dated:November 2009  Pages:1332-1335
Author(s): Susan Wright Clutter, M.F.S.; Robert Bailey; Jeff C. Everly, B.S.; Karl Mercer, B.S.
Date Published: November 2009
Page Count: 4
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Since recent research has shown that fire scenes can yield fingerprints if soot layers are removed, this report presents the methods and results of an experiment that applied liquid latex to sooted surfaces in order to assess its potential to remove soot and yield fingerprints after the dried latex was peeled.
Abstract: The results yielded usable prints within the soot prior to removal techniques, but no further fingerprint enhancement was noted with ninhydrin. Soot-laden drywall and glass samples were treated with liquid latex that successfully removed most of the soot from the surface when dried and peeled. This technique may be extremely useful to fire investigators who need to view walls or floors of a suspicious fire for burn pattern information. In addition, this process is useful in removing soot in order to view underlying blood spatter, to collect samples for potential DNA analysis, or to process surfaces for fingerprinting. Although this study failed to produce additional fingerprint evidence with ninhydrin postlatex application, more research is needed before this process is ruled out at arson scenes. Field studies that use liquid latex will be continued by the Virginia Fire Marshal Academy, but it appears that liquid latex application is a suitable soot removal method for forensic applications. 2 figures and 9 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Arson; Arson investigation training; Arson investigations; Fingerprint detection techniques; Fingerprints; Investigative techniques
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