Crime incidents are not rare cases in many places of the globe, but they are unusual common events that criss-cross humanity. The police or any investigatory body of crime scenes is therefore highly tasked on producing authentic information to convict or exonerate suspects of crimes. Some of the criminal incidents have clear evidences, some of which are delivered by life witnesses, or the evidence of prove or disapprove may also be retrieved from the enormous materials/ substances at the crime scene. This implies that the place where a criminal incident occurs is of fundamental source of crucial information that aids police and other law enforcing agents including the juries to expeditiously persecute and judge suspects without assumptions, hence upholding integrity and justice in executing their responsibilities (Lundragen, 2006).
Information that acts as evidence for prosecution of a suspected culprit comes in different forms. In some cases, it may be presented as photographed visuals or picture, while in other cases it may be recorded information in tapes or even information documented in hard copies. Furthermore, evidence may also be produced in form of physical item such as weapons stubs, knives, gun or any other physical tools that were used during the time of committing the crime. However, this depends on many factors especially the circumstance under which the incident occurred. Thus, apart from this, evidences are traced in numerous other materials that give clues enabling prosecutors and juries to arrive at unbiased or fair and justifiable final judgement. The investigatory agencies particularly the police employ objects such as clothing, bodies or body parts. While it’s well clear that each and every criminal incident presents its own uniqueness, tracing of evidence varies widely, and in certain incidents, it becomes difficult to find evidence other than minute objects or evidences. Mostly, evidences are obtained from minute items which for stereotype are of less concern. These entail things like human hair, fingernails, body fluids and blood stains or flow (NRC, 1996).
In identifying the suspects and strengthening the evidence, investigators depend on patent and latent fingerprints. While latent fingerprints are not known to most of the stereotypes, investigators depend heavily on them to compliment the overt evidences available. Fingerprints are collected from all areas and objects within the crime scene. For instance, in a home crime scene, these might be taken right from the kitchen, utensils (Glass), furniture in the sitting room, materials in the bedroom and even the surroundings compound such as corridors. These fingerprints are set for investigation under the different fingerprint grouping: whorls, arch and loop, hence leading to identification of the suspect. Though carrying out fingerprint investigation might not easily reveal the time the crime was committed, these together with interviewing of suspects and witness furnishes some hints of the time when the incident occurred(Lundragen, 2006)..
In the dark of the event happening, home crime police investigators are bound to test numerous things including food poisoning. This means that the victims should be set for post-mortem studies. In certain case where the post-mortem is no available, toxicological test are immediately done on food materials, normally collected as fresh from garbage point. Food poisoning precedes all other kind of tests as they provide early information of the cause of the incident despite that it fail to identify the culprit, thus pushing for further investigations.
Though most people are ignorant of the significant of minute pieces of items found at the crime scene, these are of significant importance to the investing agents as they carry fundamental information of the victims and/or perpetrators/ culprits. For instance, it may prove a problematic to identify culprit or the realities of the past events in an incident where the both the victim and/or the victimizer are all deprived off their lives. One of the trace evidences used in revealing information of such crime incidents is the human hair. Normally, studies have shown that humankind loses their body hairs spontaneously, with an estimated number of hundred hairs per day. Unlike hair loss in the normal case, it is physically determined that crime scenes bear unexceptionally large number of hairs, which is indicative of the occurrence of criminal incident in the particular point(s) (NRC, 1996).
Hair has not only been important tool in determining the crime scenes, but it bears a great significance in the identification of the individuals involved in committing the crime. Through scientific methodologies, criminal investigators make comparison of the unknown hairs with standardized hair collections, which finally enables them to associate it with its origin. Though this is largely a crude technique, it’s a methodology that provides blurred information to distinctively match hair with its source, though to an extent of determining race, it may provide adequate details of the suspects. However, this is in accordance to Edmond’s theory, which upholds that hair evidences are found at points of contact between suspect(s) and victim(s), or involved persons and their paraphernalia (Ledray, 2002).
Similarly, the clothing and any other cladding material such bathrobe and bra are importance source of clues that may lead to identification of crime convicts. The presence of personal belongings such as bra depicts the involvement of the individual in committing a crime. The collection of fibers is usual used to match the clothing the victim or the suspects was clad in. This entails checking of the colour match of the fibers with the cloths of the suspects. In a crime incident, there is always cross-transfer of the cloth fibers from one person to another. These may be affirmed by suspending the clothing to different chemical dye treatments. Similar to hair, presence of suspect’s cloth fibers augment the possibility of him/her being the real culprit. \
With the advancement of microscopy technique studies, this has enabled retrieval of much more evidence information from the body minute pieces (NRC, 1996)..
In addition to microscopic physical hair comparisons, uprooted hair, and fingernails have also been broadly used in scientific biological DNA studies. The DNA testing is widely acceptable and is believed to be most accurate in identifying suspects. Most of the biological material including fingernails and hair from different body parts are subjected to Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. Cell found on the ligature may also have been subjected to DNA test, with the presence of the ligature indicating committing of self-suicide. However, this does not give authentic results of self murder, as someone else might have choked the victim with such ligature to death. Using these human body building blocks, the various patterns generated in the PCR test are compared for different suspects or convicts, leading either to exoneration of wrongly held suspects, or confirming the guiltiness of suspects. Performing saliva and blood DNA examination provides information which may show close contacts between the suspects and the victims. All in all, the DNA test is also subject to doubt and therefore put in the different categories of inconclusive, exclusion and inclusion need further provision of more information (Ledray, 2002).
Finally, the investigator draws his/her decision based on the result of the different examinations and the photographs. If there was no food poisoning and self-hang, it implied something else must have happened. If the suspect had his/her fingerprints matching closely to those held in the database and the hair, neck-cell and saliva DNA tests were also positive, it would mean that the suspects was directly involved in the commitment of the crime. The neck-mark on the victim indicated that she was engaged in a strangulation process in which she was choked with the ligature around the neck. This resulted to asphyxiation as it was confirmed by the present pretechia haemorrhage. The absence of sex assault tool(s) recovered at the crime scene implied that the natural sex tools/ devices were used. Additionally, the victim was sexually assaulted by a culprit who was practicing forceful protected sex with her, hence, there were no seminal materials discharged to the vagina. It is conclusively that this was a criminal rape case.