During the course of a double murder trial, it became apparent that the two adhesive lifters from the two cadavers had been mislabeled before being presented in court. The question was raised whether DNA testing from the biological material remaining attached to the lifters could resolve this mix-up.
In fatal shooting cases where a bullet has been fired through a body surface, an adhesive lifter is applied directly to the entrance wound. The total nitrite residues, as well as biological material surrounding the wound (blood, hair, tissue) are transferred to the adhesive lifter. The nitrite residues are used for estimating firing distance. In a worst-case scenario, the biological material on the lifter may be the only remaining reference material from a victim. In this paper, we examined whether the biological material retrieved from adhesive lifters could be used for DNA typing after the lifters had been treated for GSR pattern. In as much as the biological material found on the lifters can be typed and profiled following physical and chemical treatment, we submit that archived adhesive lifters can be used as a future source of reference DNA from cadavers where no other sample is available.
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