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Investigating Fire and Homicide

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You are called to investigate a crime scene consisting of a house and detached garage. Inside the house, the first responder discovered two dead victims—a man and a woman. Both appear to have died from gunshot wounds to the head, and one handgun is visible at the scene. It is unknown whether they were both victims of a homicide. The witness who called the police reports that the victims were known to have been in a romantic relationship until recently breaking up.

Address the questions below in regard to this part of the investigation:

Identify and list all possible trace, biological, and fingerprint evidence you would expect to find at the scene and explain the key locations where the evidence is most likely to be found.
Describe the precautions that should be taken when collecting and preserving the evidence at the scene.
Explain the importance of DNA evidence in this case and where that evidence might be found.
Describe the role of note-taking, photography, and crime scene sketches and the importance of creating an accurate visual record of this crime scene.
Describe the size and scope of the crime scene. What area or areas need to be protected so that the case can be properly investigated?
After processing the scene inside the house, you are asked to assist in the garage, where a fire has caused considerable damage. The other investigators on the scene believe the fire was deliberately set. You will supplement their report by providing some general background regarding arson. For this part of your report, address the following questions:

Describe the process of combustion. How do flammable materials ignite?
Describe the three methods by which heat moves from one object or area to another.
Explain why it is important for an arson investigator to understand these concepts.
Write your responses to both sets of questions in a 5 page report in a Microsoft Word document. Cite any sources using APA format on a separate page.

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http://www.crime-scene-investigator.net/evidenc2.html
Identify and list all possible trace, biological, and fingerprint evidence you would expect to find at the scene and explain the key locations where the evidence is most likely to be found.

There are possible trace evidence that can be found on the corpses of the two victims. Hairs, blood, semen, and other types of biological fluid could be expected to be found on one or both victims/perpetrators. The blood could be dried stains or there could be hair strands left from other suspects if it doesn't match the two victims. The objective is to not develop tunnel vision and believe that this is simply a murder/suicide as it could be a double homicide that is staged to look like a murder/suicide. It is the requirement of the investigators to ensure that a thorough investigation occurs that can accurately determine if this was a murder/suicide. By utilizing the correct scraping and swabbing techniques, investigators can obtain any biological fluids at the scene that will assist in the investigation, and this will ensure that all possible motives and suspects are vetted and ruled out.

If the victims were clothed, there could be blood, hair, bodily fluids, etc. found on their clothes and their body. If they were naked, this evidence would be found on their body as well as trace evidence near the bodies.

Describe the precautions that should be taken when collecting and preserving the evidence at the scene.
There are many precautions that must be taken to prevent evidence from being contaminated while collecting and preserving the evidence. Investigators must ensure that they ...

Solution Summary

Investigating fire and homicide is examined. The expert identifies the possible trace, biological and fingerprint evidence.

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Murder investigation

a) Analyze some important elements to consider when securing and processing a crime scene.

b) Analyze the type of firearm evidence present at the scene after examining the bodies and discovering that each victim has one gunshot wound which was fatal.

c) Analyze the presence of two gunshot wounds, one on each body, and three shell casings that are found at the scene. Explained how this finding determines the scope of the crime scene examination.

d) Discuss the value of the projectile recovered from the sofa and from the bodies.

e) Discuss and analyze the significance of the finding that the projectile recovered from the sofa did not match the projectiles recovered from the bodies.

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