the crime scene should be made.
With elimination prints, it is possible for the
laboratory examiners to exclude all authorized persons who had access to the crime
scene from the prints lifted or developed.
It may be necessary to damage, partially destroy, or otherwise decrease the value
or effectiveness of an article in order to collect important evidence.
example, it may be necessary to cut the upholstery on a piece of furniture to
obtain an area stained with blood. Or it may be necessary to remove a section of a
wall containing an embedded projectile. Such action is based on the merits of the
individual case. If it is necessary to remove a door or window (evidence) from a
room or building, the crime scene investigator must ensure that necessary measures
are taken to protect the contents of the facility before releasing the scene to a
When collecting the evidence for laboratory analysis, the amounts needed will
depend upon the type of evidence and the test to be conducted.
evaluation of stains, control samples should be submitted in addition to the
collected stain. For example, a stain on soil or porous surfaces is collected by
dipping or gouging beneath a stain.
In addition, unstained portions of the area
should be collected and identified as control samples.
The integrity of control
samples must be preserved as carefully as that of evidence. Pools of liquid should
also be treated as evidence.
Hair, fibers, and particles of earth should be
treated as items foreign to the scene also.
A trained MP investigator should be
required to handle fingerprints, hair or fibers, blood stains, glass, firearms,
There may be occasions when a crime is committed in a location where effective
safeguarding of the scene is impossible; for example, on a street in heavy traffic.
Or, it may not be possible to secure the scene early enough to prevent evidence
from being destroyed by crowds or drastically affected by the elements. In extreme
cases such as these, it may be necessary to process the scene prior to the arrival
of the crime scene investigator. The first MP at the scene must assume custody of
the evidence and mark the items for future identification as soon as possible.
Marking Evidence for Identification.
The MP initially assuming custody of the
evidence will immediately mark the evidence for future identification. The purpose
is to make it possible for the military police to identify each piece of evidence,
even months after it was collected. The identification markings will be permanent
and must include the time and date of acquisition and the initials of the person
who collected the evidence. The identification markings must be placed so as not
to destroy possible trace evidence on the item or to destroy the intrinsic value of
When determining where to mark an item of evidence, the MP should
consider how the item is normally used and how it may have been used to commit the
The MP should also consider if the markings would destroy the monetary
value or functional use of the item, especially if the evidence may be returned to
the rightful owner. Obviously, an item would not be marked for identification if
it would destroy the evidentiary value of the object.