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Items of Evidence

Thu, 13 Nov 2008|

Do you have protocols that describe how to handle potential evidence at the scene of an apparent incendiary fire? Buddy Cales takes a look at possible items of interest.



Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. You're investigating this fire scene -- you've completed your exterior examination of the structure. -- documented the building construction. He documented the points of entry he documented the area where the fire department attack the fire. Document that the utilities. And you've -- your interior examination -- -- -- That examination has moved you from the areas of little to no fire damage to the area where the majority of the fire damage is concentrated -- structure that's in the room where we are now. As you begin to do the origin and cause investigation in this fire. He starts -- and cover. A tremendous amount of items which -- potential evidentiary value in the furtherance of this case should -- be determined to be an incendiary fire. What do you do with those items. You know had a package him you know I don't label on the -- procedures and protocols in place to secure the evidence properly. To enforce a proper chain of custody so that should the case be brought to a criminal prosecution. The evidence that you retrieve isn't thrown out of court -- -- it took an improperly. Where he took it from an area be it in have a legal place today. Let's look at some of the items of evidence that you would need to recover. From this fire scene. In the corner on top of the table. Is a candle. Candle is covered with. Cotton clothes line looking at the candle in the cotton clothes line. -- -- notre similar indistinct to gasoline that permeates the area coming off of the clothes line. The clothes line needs to be secured in a clean unused on line metal paint can. And now from the closed -- needs to be secured. So that the examination conducted by the laboratory. Can pick up the presence of any vowels that are added into the substance to -- as an accelerant. Before you secure this sample. Make sure that you photographed the area. And make she'd take -- -- comprehensive measurements. That -- on your scene diagram you constructing reconstruct the exact location where this material was taken. Don't take evidence from more than one area -- put -- in the same evidence container. If you're going to secure evidence from a second portion of the room. Let's say the close -- from the other corner and table that straight over the basket. That evidence needs to be secured and placed it in new clean unused on line metal container separately. All the evidence can't be gathered and the Cingular sample. And clump together and submitted as one. Again whatever -- should take from this area also needs to be photographed. These to be measured before you take it. And those -- needs needs to be transposed onto your scene and I program. Any natural or accidental sources of ignition. That are present in the area where you take the evidence from such as the wall outlet on the side below -- -- need to be examined. They need to be documented. And they need to be measured and referenced on -- scene by Ingram. As you secure the evidence from this area if at all possible you're gonna -- -- pain control samples. If material was found in the area that is -- -- secure that as a control sample. Put -- in the same type of container labeled what with the same information. Initial -- -- -- hand to show it can't hasn't been tampered with. As you conduct your argument cause investigation -- -- -- such as this which is clearly an incendiary fire. Evidence becomes a major point. In the furtherance of the investigation. And the subsequent prosecution. The actors involved in starting the fire if their core. Don't let evidence become the weak link in your chain and in the -- processing of this fire -- Take time take effort follow proper procedures. Secure the evidence correctly. Handle the evidence correctly. And -- we used to a successful criminal prosecution. Of the person responsible for the setting of the fire. Nobody else thanks for watching.