In the case of the brutal death of a 20-year old girl found in her room, it was revealed that cause of her death was accomplished through strangulation based on the strap of her bra wrapped around her neck. Her face was badly beaten as well as the contusions, hemorrhages, and lacerations all over the body. The victim’s nude body was at 3:00 around p.m. inside her room. The responsibility of the first responding officer (FRO) is to process the crime scene by gathering all the information from witnesses, presence of any weapons, the blood samples and objects left in the crime scene. In the crime scene, the investigating officer found the strap of the bra that was used to strangle the victim and blood samples found on the bed sheets of the victim. The investigator should preserve the crime scene boundaries by setting up physical barriers to control the entrance and exit of people inside the victim’s house where the body was found.
After making an initial assessment of the crime scene, the next thing to do is to search and recognize any physical evidence. The next step is to document the physical evidence. The four methods of documentation used by the CSI is reporting and taking down of notes, taking pictures, taking videos and crime scene sketching and mapping (Dutelle, 2013, p. 114). The next step is to collect the physical evidence. The CSI should determine the forensic specialists that will be needed to gather the evidence such as the latent print analyst, the bloodstain or blood-spatter analyst and the forensic anthropologist (Hart, 2009). After which, the investigating team should determine what specialized equipment is required in the crime scene. The best way to collect evidence is by using clean or single-use tools or equipment and to dispose them after use such as in the case of gloves, forceps, scalpels and other tools. In collecting biological evidence, the CSI must utilize single-use collection material such as swabs, swatches and other items that come in direct contact with evidence to be collected (Hart, 2004, p. 38). The CSI must ensure that all the pieces of evidence are individually packaged to avoid cross-contamination. The final step is to transport and submit the evidence for secure storage. The investigation team must be able to maintain the integrity of all evidence collected to avoid compromising evidence yet to be processed and to ensure that specialized equipment are used to transport unusual items of evidence. Finally, they must ensure that the evidence is transported to the appropriate facility the soonest time possible (Hart, 2004, p. 44).
The chain of custody is the act of preserving and protecting the crime scene evidence in order to maintain its physical integrity. It is manner that will be used to authenticate physical evidence found in the crime scene by preserving, safekeeping, and documentation of physical evidence (Buckles 2007).
The legal problem posed by the chain of custody is alleged contamination of the evidence if not done properly. Failure to preserve the procedures may affect the legal integrity or authenticity. Misuse and contamination of the evidence while transporting the evidence may break in the chain of custody (Buckles, 2007).
The legal challenge of Crime Scene Photography is failure to preserve the authenticity, genuineness and legitimacy of the evidence (Buckles, 2007). The CSI should determine the forensic specialists that will be needed to gather the evidence such as the latent print analyst, the bloodstain or blood-spatter analyst and the forensic anthropologist (Hart, 2004).
Buckles, T. (2007). Crime Scene Investigation, Criminalistics and the Law. New York: Thomson Delmar.
Dutelle, A. (2013). An Introduction to Crime Scene Investigation, 2nd ed. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.
Hart, S. (2004). Crime Scene Investigation: A Reference for Law Enforcement Training. U.S.