Volume 33, Issue 1 (January 1988)
A Novel Technique for the Collection and Recovery of Foreign Fibers in Forensic Science Casework
In criminal investigations, especially in rape, sodomy, and murder cases, forensic scientists are frequently asked to establish a possible transfer of fiber evidence. In such cases, the initial task is to recover the minute fragments of transferred fibers from the surfaces of the textile articles involved in an incident. An ideal method should be simple, rapid, efficient, and reliable. A novel technique satisfying all of the above criteria is described which involves the use of an adhesive bed for the collection and recovery of fibers, and laser illumination/stereo light microscopy for search and localization of possible matching fibers. The adhesive bed consists of a clear polyester film (100 by 130 mm) preprinted with a grid and label. The grid area (100 by 100 mm) was covered with Double Coated® adhesive tape. The bed is stored in a document protector. The advantages of this new technique over existing methods include rapid collection of evidence material from large surfaces, convenient handling and storage of samples, and rapid recovery of suspect fibers. This technique is time-saving and practical in routine cases and meets the needs of overburdened crime laboratories.