Crime Scene Investigator Network

Crime Scene Investigator Network Newsletter

JUNE 2015

Welcome to the June 2015 Crime Scene Investigator Network Newsletter

The Fluorescein Method
of Latent Blood Detection

Ricardo Tomboc

Trying to find traces of latent blood at a possible crime scene is always very challenging, especially when the supposed crime scene has been thoroughly cleansed several times. There are several options available to the Crime Scene Forensic. BlueStar, Luminol, and Florescence are only some of the more particle techniques for use on larger scenes. Although I will be focusing on the Fluorescein Method of Latent Blood Detection; the other techniques may be just as viable.

Fluorescein can be obtained in various forms. Depending upon the formulations that are being followed, mixing a batch can be complex. However, there are prepackaged kits that can be obtained from various vendors that make it as simple as "just adding water"! Two such kits are sold under the registered trademark HemaScein, and another vendor under the trademark Flora-Scene. Since HemaScein, Flora-Scene, and Fluorescein are the same basic formulations, this paper will refer only the chemical name Fluorescein.

Fluorescein is a presumptive blood test for latent bloodstain detection. It has been used in forensic applications to reveal trace amounts of blood. Traces of latent blood can be detected even after repeated cleansing of the crime scene. Fluorescein is highly sensitive to the hemassociated molecules (enzymes and iron) in the red blood cells, (1:105,000 depending upon the dilution rate of the working solution) [1-2]. Traces of these hemassociated molecules will embed themselves on the substright, even after multiple cleanings. Fluorescein can also be used to discover and enhance shoe tracks leading from a bloody crime scene thus allowing investigators to follow the suspect's trail [3]. Fluorescein can be used to locate traces of latent blood on clothing, even after it has been laundered several times (best preformed at the lab). It can also be used on vehicles (inside and out) [4]. Some studies have been conducted on the development of bloody latent finger/palm prints [5]. There are two basic forms of Fluorescein that are typically used in forensics.

Fluorescein can be either aqueous or alcohol-based. Both formulations will work. However, alcohol-based solutions are more difficult to make, and can be very volatile, and extreme caution must be taken when used. An open flame or static electricity can ignite the alcohol fumes possibly causing an explosion.

Both Fluorescein and Luminol are on the suspected list of carcinogens yet; Fluorescein has a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for medical usage [6]. Since the 1960's Fluorescein has been used to diagnose blood flow status in the retinas by injecting it directly into the vessels of the eyes, and as a topical used in diagnosis of corneal abrasions, ulcers, infections & dry eye [7-8]. Other medical applications of Fluorescein include injecting it into the blood system to study the blood flow to tumors, grafts, etc. (also known as Fluorescein mapping) along with other medical diagnostic procedures [9] [10-11]. Nevertheless, caution should always be employed when using either aqueous or alcohol protocols. The other chemicals used in the aqueous-based Fluorescein formula are zinc and sodium hydroxide, both of which can be commonly found in most households. Again, proper handling and disposal of all reagents should be employed at all times.

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*Article submitted by the author

This Month's Featured Resource on the Crime Scene Investigator Network Website

Death investigation has evolved greatly in the years since the 1999 release of Death Investigation: A Guide for the Scene Investigator. This revised and updated edition is the result of a collaborative effort to present the most up-to-date information about the issues confronting death investigators today. The death investigator is the eyes and ears of the forensic pathologist at the scene. It is hoped that these guidelines, reflecting the best practices of the forensic community, will serve as a national standard.

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New CSI and Forensic Job Announcements

The most comprehensive listing of Crime Scene Investigation and Forensic
employment opportunities on the internet! We typically have over 475 current listings!

To be notified of job openings as they are posted, follow us on Twitter: Job Posting Alerts
or sign up for daily email alerts: Daily Job Posting Alert Emails

Forensic Specialist (CSI/LPE)
Spokane County Sheriff, Spokane, Washington, USA

Final Filing Date: June 12, 2015
Salary: $22.08 - $29.80 Hourly
This is a technical, criminal identification position in the Spokane County Sheriff's Office. Individuals occupying this position perform extremely critical work in the identification of criminal offenders through the collection, preservation and evaluation of physical evidence obtained from crime scenes.
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Crime Lab Analyst — Digital Evidence
Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Tallahassee, Tampa, Florida, USA

Final Filing Date: June 30, 2015
Salary: $40,948.18 - $75,649.72 per year
Analysts in the Digital Evidence section conduct detailed laboratory examination and analysis of computer evidence involved in criminal cases at the request of law enforcement agencies. The results of these examinations are incorporated into written reports which form a basis for associated legal proceedings.
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Forensic Scientist I — Controlled Substances
Las Vegas Metro Police Department, Nevada, USA

Final Filing Date: June 19, 2015
Salary: $29.36 - $43.45 Hourly
Incumbents perform a variety of scientific laboratory examinations and analyses on physical evidence in controlled substances, interpret test results, formulate conclusions, and prepare reports. Incumbents also provide scientific assistance to external parties and testify in court as an expert witness.
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Criminalist II — Latent Print Examiner
Rhode Island State Crime Lab, Kingston, Rhode Island, USA

Final Filing Date: June 24, 2015
Salary: $56,286 - $71,038 per year
Uses instrumental, physical and/or chemical techniques to examine a large variety of physical evidence submitted to the State Crime Laboratory by municipal, state and federal law enforcement agencies. Interpret results of analyses, prepare written reports and provide expert court testimony in the areas of friction ridge comparison and/or photography.
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Evidence Technician
Jupiter Police Department, Florida, USA

Final Filing Date: June 14, 2015
Salary: $17.90 - $26.85 Hourly
Maintain and process evidence seized from crime scenes, to include obtaining and securing evidence, processing evidence for fingerprints or DNA evidence, ensuring availability of evidence for subpoenas, and testifying in court and depositions.
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Research Officer — Forensic Computing
Bournemouth University, Talbot, UK

Final Filing Date: 23 June 2015
Salary: £24,057 - £30,434 per annum
An experienced software developer is sought to work on software for the analysis of three-dimensional footwear evidence at crime scenes. This exciting Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Innovation Project is designed to translate research software developed for the analysis of fossil footprints into a practical application of use to both police forces and forensic services in the UK and overseas.
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Search for more job listings in Crime Scene Investigations and Forensics
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CSI in the News

Iowa State to be home to a new, $20 million national center for forensic science
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has awarded a five-year, up to $20 million grant to establish a Forensic Science Center of Excellence to be based at Iowa State University...
EurekAlert - May 26, 2015

A Brand New Mobile Forensic Breakthrough
Susteen Inc. is proud to announce their brand new mobile forensic pincode breaking software for law enforcement. The Secure View Strike is capable of acquiring 6 digit pincode/passcodes on the most popular phones on the market...
PRWeb - May 22, 2015

Forensic photography, through a medical lens
Medical examiner offers presentation in Bend on how to capture injury.
The Bulletin - By Claire Withycombe - May 22, 2015

Bacteria on shoes could help forensic teams catch suspects
Prospective criminals should take note: bacteria are everywhere. A small pilot study has shown that the germs on personal belongings such as shoes and mobile phones are actually a useful way of tracing a person's whereabouts—something that may prove useful in forensic investigations.
The Conversation - by Stefano Vanin - May 13, 2015

Skull Fracture 'Prints' May Help Forensic Scientists Solve Child Abuse Cases
It's not always easy to determine whether a hurt child is suffering from a simple accident or abuse. Now, Michigan State University scientists have discovered the ways in which a skull fracture may leave behind a highly distinctive signature, much like fingers leave behind their 'print'...
Medical Daily - By Susan Scutti - May 8, 2015

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