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Crime Scene Investigator Network

Crime Scene Investigator Network Newsletter

JUNE 2013
Welcome to the June 2013 Crime Scene Investigator Network Newsletter

Excavations of Skeletal Remains
From an Anthropological Point of View

Danny Rinehart

Working with the International Commission for Missing Persons (ICMP), in Bosnia-Herzegovina, I was exposed to gravesites where different exhumation teams were making recoveries. These sites and many more are being investigated for humanitarian reasons in the hopes of identifying the remains with their respective families.

Excavation of graves
Prior to organizing an excavation of a suspected grave (mass or single) some basic background information about the number or victims, year of burial and type of grave (e.g.: dug hole, natural depression, cave) must be obtained. This information will assist in planning for resources, equipment, number of workers and the amount of time that will be necessary to perform recovery of remains. This is the most critical issue for a successful excavation, and it is imperative that reliability regarding this information is confirmed.

Locating Suspected Grave Sites
Statements of witnesses are not always positive in respect to exact locations due to emotional stress, seasonal changes in topography or landmarks that may have been destroyed, etc., but still are the most important and reliable source of information for general or specific site location of the grave. However, if possible, information should be collected from more than one witness. If the grave's specific location is not known, it may be verified by other means.

Site Assessment
Before the excavation can take place, a preliminary visit to the suspected site is necessary to map the area to be excavated. Above all it must be insured that the area has been cleared of surface debris. Search party personnel need to be briefed on customary elements that indicate the location of a gravesite.

The most useful indicators for a fresh, or new, gravesite are:

  • Differences in type and growth of vegetation — mixed species and disturbed growth
  • Visual changes in ground surface level — depression, cracks, soil compaction
  • Differences in soil composition while probing and coring — less compact, disturbed or showing contact with decomposed remains (the odor produced by sniffing a tip of the probe)

< read the complete article and view example photographs >

*Article submitted by the author

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 275 current listings!

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Forensic Evidence Technician  |  Greenville County, South Carolina
Final Filing Date: June 14, 2013
Salary: $17.42 per hour

Under general supervision, provides photographic documentation of crime scenes, collects, and preserves physical evidence. Performs a variety of types of analysis of evidence that may be collected at a crime scene in accordance with federal, state, and local laws and department/division policy. Enforces federal, state, and local laws as necessary. Works under stressful, sometimes dangerous situations. Must be able to work 12 hour rotating shifts.

<View complete job listing>
Forensic Identification Specialist I  |  Los Angeles County Sheriff, CA
Final Filing Date: June 17, 2013
$4,622.18 - $5,742.09 per month

Positions allocated to this class work under close supervision to make fingerprint comparisons, process crime scenes for evidence, utilize automated systems to compare latent fingerprints, prepare reports, and engage in other activities related to forensic identification. Takes fingerprints and palm prints using printer's ink or computerized optical digital technology. Develops, collects, and preserves latent fingerprints from typical surfaces using conventional techniques, chemical processing, and alternate light source technologies. Compares latent prints to inked or digitally captured prints. Prepares, enters, and compares latent fingerprints in an automated fingerprint identification system. Participates in crime scene investigations to recognize, search for, collect, and preserve fingerprints and physical evidence such as hairs, fibers, plant material, and biological fluids. Documents crime scenes through diagramming, photographing, and videotaping. Responds to Coroner's Office to locate and collect trace evidence from deceased victims using conventional techniques. Makes impressions of shoe prints, tire tracks, and other objects at crime scenes. Prepares detailed reports of crime scene investigations, other activities, and comparison results. Accesses crime scenes in a variety of environments including remote areas requiring mountaineering and other entrance and egress techniques in order to document and collect evidence. Qualifies as an expert witness in court.

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Forensic Specialist I/II  |  San Mateo County Sheriff's Office, CA
Final Filing Date: June 20, 2013
Salary: $59,259.20 - $82,284.80 per year
A Forensic Specialist's duties include examining crime scenes, photography, developing latent prints using physical and chemical techniques, searching latent prints in the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS), conducting comparisons between latent prints and fingerprint and palmprint standards, writing reports, and testifying in court.

<View complete job listing>

Crime Laboratory Analyst — Digital Evidence  |  State of Florida
Final Filing Date: June 30, 2013
Salary: $40,948.18 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.

<View complete job listing>
Criminalist I  |  Honolulu Police Department, Hawaii
Final Filing Date: June 13, 2013
Salary: $3,511.00 per month

Performs a variety of standard physical, chemical, instrumental, and microscopic analyses of evidence in connection with crime detection and law enforcement work; assists with more complex investigations and studies, and with assigned phases of research projects; and performs other related duties as required.

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Property Evidence Technician  |  City of Maricopa, Arizona
Final Filing Date: June 30, 2013
Salary: $35,188 - $48,507 per year

Perform duties using initiative and independent judgment with little or no supervision and with complete confidentiality. Establish and maintain effective working relationships with management, co-workers, other City departments, vendors, the public, etc. Developing new or improving existing systems, procedures and forms to increase efficiency. Follows up on assignments to determine progress and date of completion. Enter data or information into a computer terminal using software specific to the police department. Process property received from law enforcement personnel, maintaining integrity and chain of evidence. Transport evidence to/from DPS for analysis as needed. Photograph, collect, preserve and present physical evidence from a crime scene such as fingerprints, tire prints, shoe prints, firearms and biological items. Write departmental reports and supplements. Attend various meetings as needed. Actively support and uphold the City’s stated mission and values. Demonstrate continuous effort to improve operations, decrease turnaround times, streamline work processes, and work cooperatively and jointly to provide quality customer service. Other duties as assigned.

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CSI In The News

JAWS Signing Ceremony
The Joint Agency In-Water Strike or JAWS team is made up of the Bay County Sheriff's Office, Panama City Fire Department, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, and Florida State Panama City's underwater criminology program.
- By Kelly Ritenour - May 30, 2013

New Western Kentucky Crime Forensic Lab Opens in Madisonville
It's an idea 10 years in the making. A new crime forensic lab for western Kentucky law enforcement. - By: Chris Veech - May 29, 2013

Real-life CSI: Forensic students brought to Miami murder scene
A group of forensic students on a field trip from Nebraska , who don't get to see much bloodshed back home to pursue their morbid studies, got a taste of real-life CSI Miami on Wednesday.
The Miami Herald - BY FERNANDO PEINADO - May 29, 2013

Odessa police prepare to deploy new Mobile Crime Lab
The unit brings the OPD's crime scene fleet to two, allowing investigators to gather sensitive and sometimes fleeting evidence from multiple crime scenes at once. - BY COREY PAUL - May 29, 2013

Law enforcement pushes for power to swab for DNA on arrest
"Book 'em" could carry a whole new meaning at police stations in Canada if lawmakers are swayed to make a controversial change to the Criminal Code.
Postmedia Network Inc. - By Douglas Quan - May 27, 2013

Daetech develops technology for next-generation police car
It has created a new mini version of its flagship product MIDAS — Mobile Image and Data Acquisition System. The gadget is used by investigators to gather evidence at a crime scene.
Manchester Evening News - By Shelina Begum - May 20, 2013

The Evolution of Computer Forensics
Since the World Wide Web revolution in 1991, there has been significant growth in the use of computers, internet, e-mail, and recently cell phones for committing financial fraud and other criminal activities.
Financial Mirror - By: Rakis Christoforou - May 17, 2013

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