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Trace Evidence

The Basics...


Trace evidence involves minute quantities of items you might find on places such as the body, under the fingernails, in clothing, or at the crime scene. As suggested by Locard's Exchange Principal, the evidence may be found on the victim or on the perpetrator. These items can include, but are not limited to, hair, fibers, gun shot residue, paint chips, glass, impressions, volatile chemical residue etc...


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Hair Analysis - Forensic hair analysis involves using a light microscope to analyze the hair for various factors to determine the origin of that hair. Is it a human hair or animal? Is it a male or female hair? Can we determine the individual race? What about the age? To get an answer to these questions and to learn what to look for in a hair sample, visit this site.


Fiber Analysis - read this site to learn how they determine if fibers are natural or synthetic and where they might have come from.

  • Carpet Fiber Case - read this case to see how trace evidence from a carpet fiber was used to catch a criminal.

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