Blood Stains Blood that is in liquid pools should be picked up on a gauze pad or other clean sterile cotton cloth and allowed to air dry thoroughly, at room temperature. It should be refrigerated or frozen as soon as possible and brought to the Laboratory as quickly as possible. Delays beyond 48 hours may make the samples useless.
If close to the Laboratory, deliver stained object immediately. If unable to deliver to the Laboratory, or if the object must be mailed, allow the stain to air dry completely before packaging.
Do not heat stained material or place it in bright sunlight to dry. Hang clothing and similar articles in a room where there is adequate ventilation.
If not completely dry, label and roll in paper or place in a brown paper bag or box and seal and label container. Place only one item in each container. Do not use plastic containers. Dried Blood Stains On clothing, if possible, wrap the item in clean paper, place the article in a brown paper bag or box and seal and label container.
Do not attempt to remove stains from the cloth. On small solid objects, send the whole stained object to the Laboratory, after labeling and packaging.
On large solid objects, cover the stained area with clean paper and seal the edges down with tape to prevent loss or contamination. If impractical to deliver the whole object to the Laboratory, scrape the stain onto a clean piece of paper, which can be folded and placed in an envelope.
Do not scrape directly into evidence envelope. Scrape blood from objects using a freshly washed and dried knife or similar tool. Wash and dry the tool before each stain is scraped off. Seal and mark the envelope.
Do not mix dried stains. Place each stain in a separate envelope. Never attempt to wipe dried stains from an object using a moistened cloth or paper. Standard Blood Specimens Autopsy Blood Samples Request that pathologist obtain the sample directly from the heart into a yellow ACD or purple stoppered vacutainer some labs request both.
In such cases, proceed also with collection of a secondary standard as described below. Blood Samples From Live Individuals For typing purposes, have sample drawn into yellow and purple stoppered vacutainers.
Note these are distinguished from the BA tubes which have grey stoppers. If the victim is injured to the extent that a transfusion is necessary, make an effort to obtain or begin necessary procedures to obtain the pre-transfusion sample collected by the hospital. These samples are not retained for long periods by the hospital, so it is important to act promptly.
Also, make sure that some bloodstained garment worn by the individual has been air dried and frozen to serve as a secondary standard. Handling and Storage of Physiological Fluid Evidence Obligation under People vs Nation and Hitch that a reasonable and good faith effort be made to preserve perishable evidence Stains and Controls Package in paper Freeze Consider special handling of non-absorbent items on metal or plastic.
Any condensation from thawing could disturb or destroy such evidence. Such items should be kept at room temperature and submitted to the lab as soon as possible. Liquids generally standards Refrigerate, do not freeze standards collected in yellow stoppered vacutainers.
Submit to the lab as soon as possible. Saliva Collect on a sterile gauze pad or swabs, allow to air dry and package in paper. Seminal Stains Seminal stains are often, but not always, found on clothing, blankets, sheets. Allow any stains to air dry, wrap in paper, and package evidence in paper bags.
Do not use plastic bags. For sex offense cases, the victim should always be examined by a physician. It is very important that the instructions on the kit be followed with care in order to gain the greatest benefit from the collected evidence. Label all garments such as undershorts, panties, or other exhibits and package each garment separately. If damp, allow fabric to dry completely before packaging. Handle fabrics as little as possible.
Hair An examination of human hair can occasionally reveal the possible race of the individual from whom it came and the part of the body from which it originated.
Human hair can be compared to determine whether or not two samples could have had a common origin. The value of the Laboratory examinations of such specimens will depend upon the amount of hair recovered and the characteristics found in the examinations. Recover all hair present. If possible, use the fingers or tweezers to pick up hair, place in paper bindles or coin envelopes which should then be folded and sealed in larger envelopes.
Label the outer sealed envelope. If hair is attached, such as in dry blood, or caught in metal or a crack of glass, do not attempt to remove it but rather leave hair intact on the object. If the object is small, mark it, wrap it, and seal it in an envelope. If the object is large, wrap the area containing the hair in paper to prevent loss of hairs during shipment.
In rape cases, the victim's pubic region should be combed prior to collecting standards. Obtain known hair samples from the victim, suspect, or any other possible sources for comparison with unknown specimens. The recommended method for collecting head hairs is to start by having the person from whom they are being collected bend over a large sheet of clean paper, rubbing or massaging their hands through the hair so that loose hair will fall out on the paper.
More should then be gathered by plucking them from representative areas all over the head. A total or hairs is desired. Do not cut the hair. This same method may be used to collect hairs from other parts of the body. When the person is a suspect, hair should be gathered from all parts of the body even though there may only be an interest in hair from the head at that particular time.
Fibers and Threads Such evidence is often found in fabric abrasions or caught in torn materials or other areas on hit-and-run vehicles. In some burglary cases, it may be found caught in torn screens, broken glass, or other locations. Examination of fibers can normally be conducted to determine the type or color of fiber.
Such examinations will sometimes indicate the type of garment or fabric from which they originated. Fibers and threads can also be compared with suspects clothing to determine whether or not they could have come from this clothing. If threads or large fibers are found, they can often be picked up with the fingers and placed in a paper bindle, then in a coin envelope, which can be sealed and marked.
Never place loose fibers directly into a mailing envelope since they can be lost from this type of envelope.
If the fibers are short or few in number, and if it is possible to do so, wrap the area or the entire item containing the fibers in paper and send the whole exhibit to the Laboratory. Pick up fibers on tape only if the laboratory in your jurisdiction allows it and gives you its requirements. When fibers or threads are recovered, always send all clothing of persons from which they might have originated to the Laboratory for comparison purposes.
In sex offenses, assaults, and some other cases, it may be possible to indicate or demonstrate contact between two individuals or between one other individual and some other object, such as a car seat, by comparing fibers. Such examinations are only of value when it is known no contact occurred between the two individuals or an individual and some other object prior to, or subsequent to, the offense.
Extra care must be taken to keep each article of clothing of each individual or other object separated. Each garment should be-laid on a clean sheet of paper, and separately rolled up in the paper after marking the exhibit. If the clothing of one subject touches the clothing of another, or if it is laid down on the table of placed on the car seat contacted by the clothing of the other suspect, the comparisons may be of no value.
Windows are frequently broken in burglaries, headlights in hit-and-run cases, and bottles or other objects may break or leave fragments on personal belongings of suspects involved in various types of crimes. Recovery of Evidence Samples Shoes and clothing of suspects or other objects contaminated with glass should be wrapped in paper and submitted to the Laboratory for examination.
All glass found at hit-and-run scenes should be recovered. The search should not be limited to the point of impact, since headlight glass may be dropped off at some distance away as the car leaves the crime scene. Glass from different locations should be kept in different containers. All glass should be collected because more than one type may be present. In addition, if just a few representative samples are saved, individual pieces that could be physically matched with glass remaining in the headlight shell of the suspected vehicle may be overlooked.
Place small glass fragments in paper bindles, then in coin envelopes, pill boxes, or film cans which can be marked and completely sealed. Place large glass fragments in boxes. Separate individual pieces with cotton or tissue to prevent breakage and damaged edges during shipment. Seal and mark the box containing them. Standards for Comparison Windows: If the broken window is small, send the whole window or all glass remaining to the Laboratory.
If the window is large, recover several samples from different areas of the window. If the evidence glass is large enough for physically matching the broken edges or comparing the fracture lines, hackle marks, surface abrasions or contamination, the whole broken window is necessary. Auto Glass - Auto Headlights: All glass remaining in the shell should be recovered. If it is suspected that a new glass has been installed, this should be removed and a careful examination made for small chips remaining in the shell from the previous lens which is broken.
In such cases, also submit the new lens to the Laboratory. When bottles or other glass objects are broken, recover all remaining glass. Headlights and Taillights of Motor Vehicles As part of the investigation of vehicle accidents, it may be of importance to determine whether or not a headlight or taillight was illuminated at the time the light was broken. Recovery of the filaments is of primary importance. These are quite small and their location may require a careful search. If recovered, they should be placed in a paper bindle or a small pill box sealed with tape.