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Chapter 7 : Environmental Samples as Evidence: Labeling and Documentation at a Crime Scene

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Environmental Samples as Evidence: Labeling and Documentation at a Crime Scene, Page 1 of 2

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Abstract:

This chapter provides a detailed examination of the sample documentation process, highlighting the importance of each step for criminal investigations. For the criminal sampling process, knowing that something needs to be documented is important but understanding why something needs to be documented is critical. There are generally three types of samples that require extensive documentation in the aftermath of a biological release. The first type of sample is the public health and safety sample. The second type of sample is the environmental sample. The analysis of these samples helps guide those responsible for the decontamination of a specific area and the restoration of the environment. The third type of sample is the criminal sample. Duct tape consists of cloth/cotton fabric coated with polyethylene. When the duct tape is torn, cotton fibers may become airborne. Should these airborne particles come into contact with protective clothing (e.g., gloves or sleeves), sampling tools, or sampling containers, they may contaminate the item with foreign DNA. If footprints are found within the contaminated zone, it may be difficult to differentiate between those made by a suspect and those created by emergency responders. The documentation supporting these activities must also be collected and securely stored in a central location at the crime scene. At the completion of these activities, the crime scene investigation team should conduct a postsearch briefing. In summary, the importance of documentation throughout the sampling process cannot be stressed enough.

Citation: Drielak S. 2008. Environmental Samples as Evidence: Labeling and Documentation at a Crime Scene, p 165-188. In Emanuel P, Roos J, Niyogi K (ed), Sampling for Biological Agents in the Environment. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817473.ch7
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Figures

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Figure 1

Documentation required for sampling for criminal investigation.

Citation: Drielak S. 2008. Environmental Samples as Evidence: Labeling and Documentation at a Crime Scene, p 165-188. In Emanuel P, Roos J, Niyogi K (ed), Sampling for Biological Agents in the Environment. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817473.ch7
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Figure 2

Assembly of bio-sampling kits.

Citation: Drielak S. 2008. Environmental Samples as Evidence: Labeling and Documentation at a Crime Scene, p 165-188. In Emanuel P, Roos J, Niyogi K (ed), Sampling for Biological Agents in the Environment. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817473.ch7
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Figure 3

Sampling point placards.

Citation: Drielak S. 2008. Environmental Samples as Evidence: Labeling and Documentation at a Crime Scene, p 165-188. In Emanuel P, Roos J, Niyogi K (ed), Sampling for Biological Agents in the Environment. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817473.ch7
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Figure 4

Crime scene sketch.

Citation: Drielak S. 2008. Environmental Samples as Evidence: Labeling and Documentation at a Crime Scene, p 165-188. In Emanuel P, Roos J, Niyogi K (ed), Sampling for Biological Agents in the Environment. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817473.ch7
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Figure 5

Example of a photographic log.

Citation: Drielak S. 2008. Environmental Samples as Evidence: Labeling and Documentation at a Crime Scene, p 165-188. In Emanuel P, Roos J, Niyogi K (ed), Sampling for Biological Agents in the Environment. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817473.ch7
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Figure 6

Airborne-contamination fingerprinting powders. N/A, not available; *, indoor air sample. From reference 5.

Citation: Drielak S. 2008. Environmental Samples as Evidence: Labeling and Documentation at a Crime Scene, p 165-188. In Emanuel P, Roos J, Niyogi K (ed), Sampling for Biological Agents in the Environment. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817473.ch7
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Figure 7

Tools for tracking airflow.

Citation: Drielak S. 2008. Environmental Samples as Evidence: Labeling and Documentation at a Crime Scene, p 165-188. In Emanuel P, Roos J, Niyogi K (ed), Sampling for Biological Agents in the Environment. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817473.ch7
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Figure 8

Example of a sample data sheet.

Citation: Drielak S. 2008. Environmental Samples as Evidence: Labeling and Documentation at a Crime Scene, p 165-188. In Emanuel P, Roos J, Niyogi K (ed), Sampling for Biological Agents in the Environment. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817473.ch7
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Figure 9

Example of a sample logbook.

Citation: Drielak S. 2008. Environmental Samples as Evidence: Labeling and Documentation at a Crime Scene, p 165-188. In Emanuel P, Roos J, Niyogi K (ed), Sampling for Biological Agents in the Environment. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817473.ch7
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References

/content/book/10.1128/9781555817473.chap07
1. Ammann, H. M. 1999. Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds, Bioaerosols Assessment and Control. p. 26–2, 26–4. American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, Cincinnati, OH.
2. Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 1994. Recommended Operating Procedures for Sampling and Analysis in the Verification of Chemical Disarmament. S.C. 6.4 (a). Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Helsinki, Finland.
3. Janse, P. A.,, and M. P. Schafer. 1998. Sampling and characterization of bioaerosols. NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods, 94. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Bethesda, MD.
4. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. 1994. General considerations for sampling airborne contaminants. NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods, 4th ed., publication 94-113, p. 4. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Bethesda, MD.
5. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. 1994. Health Hazard Evaluation Report. HETA 92-0147-2456, Tables 2–9. Federal Bureau of Investigation, Washington, DC.
6. Ness, S. A. 1991. Air Monitoring for Toxic Exposures: an Integrated Approach. Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, NY.
7. Phillips, P. 1996. Medical glove safety: technical overview for the JOWC. J. Wound Care.
8. Rose, L.,, B. Jensen,, A. Peterson,, S. Banerjee,, and M. Arduino. 2004. Swab material and Bacillus anthracis spore recovery from nonporous surfaces. Emerg. Infect. Dis. 10:10231029.
9. U.S. Department of Labor. 1988. Using Duct Tape with Personal Protective Equipment at Hazardous Waste Sites and Related Operations. OSHA Hazard Information Bulletin. U.S. Department of Labor, Washington, DC.
10. U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration. 1996. Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response. 29CFR1910.120(7), Appendix C. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Washington, DC.
11. U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration. 1997. Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response. 29CFR1910.120. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Washington, DC.
12. U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration. 1996. Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response. 29CFR1910.120. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Washington, DC.
13. U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration. 1996. Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response. 29CFR1910 .120(L)(1). Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Washington, DC.
14. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 1991. Manual of Methods for Virology. EPA/600/4-84/013 (R-2), ch. 2 (1). Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC.
15. U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Center for Devices and Radiological Health. 1997. Medical Glove Powder Report. U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Washington, DC.

Tables

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Table 1

Personnel records

Citation: Drielak S. 2008. Environmental Samples as Evidence: Labeling and Documentation at a Crime Scene, p 165-188. In Emanuel P, Roos J, Niyogi K (ed), Sampling for Biological Agents in the Environment. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817473.ch7
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Table 2

Equipment preparation documentation

Citation: Drielak S. 2008. Environmental Samples as Evidence: Labeling and Documentation at a Crime Scene, p 165-188. In Emanuel P, Roos J, Niyogi K (ed), Sampling for Biological Agents in the Environment. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817473.ch7
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Table 3

Traditional evidence documentation

Citation: Drielak S. 2008. Environmental Samples as Evidence: Labeling and Documentation at a Crime Scene, p 165-188. In Emanuel P, Roos J, Niyogi K (ed), Sampling for Biological Agents in the Environment. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817473.ch7
Generic image for table
Table 4

Postsearch briefing documents

Citation: Drielak S. 2008. Environmental Samples as Evidence: Labeling and Documentation at a Crime Scene, p 165-188. In Emanuel P, Roos J, Niyogi K (ed), Sampling for Biological Agents in the Environment. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817473.ch7

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