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Forensics Europe Expo

2017 FEE Conference


The answer lies in the soil… or does it?

Conference Theatre

It has been recognised that soil is a source of excellent trace evidence that can provide intelligence at the investigative stage of an enquiry, and probative evidence for court. Nevertheless, the number of cases involving actual soil is limited and, in many instances, important traces (that are certainly found in soil) can also be picked up from most surfaces, having been deposited as dust or from the air. An item may appear to be very clean, but various kinds of particulate can be present on its surface in considerable quantity. Essentially, these traces are either inorganic or organic and their relative value to criminal investigation needs to be clarified.

This presentation will give some idea of the range of microscopic trace evidence in soil, water, on any surface, and in the air, and demonstrate how they have helped in linking objects with places and other objects, provenancing origins, timing events, differentiating kill sites from deposition sites, and even helping to understand cause of death. The presentation will be exemplified by actual cases.

Prof Patricia Wiltshire, Forensic Ecologist, Botanist and Palynologist

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