Discipline: Science and Mathematics Education
Kersten Hart - Fort Valley State University
Forensic investigators may encounter crime scenes that have shoeprints deposited on a variety of surfaces. The latent shoe prints are a key piece of evidence that can help find the suspect. Forensic light sources (FLS) have been used frequently in crime scene investigations as a scanning tool for crime scene evidence. LED based light sources are low in cost, portable, and easy to use; therefore, suitable for crime scene investigation and also are an excellent educational tool in forensic science classes. The Crime-lite 82L (Foster & Freeman) with white light (400-700nm) is a high intensity FLS that provides a wide linear beam that is ideal for detecting surface debris in shoe prints. During this research, we tested six different surfaces -painted drywall, laminate flooring, linoleum, concrete, glass, metal and slate. Two different methods – gellifters and adhesive lifts were compared for recovery of footwear impression evidence. A large shoe print database (FPX; Foster & Freeman) was used to successfully identify the make and model of 40 shoe impressions by tallying their discriminating features. Our results indicate that both gellifters and adhesive lift methods are easy to use and yield quality impressions that can be used to identify a shoe print using FPX software, thus enabling a crime scene investigator to place a suspect at a crime scene.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): NSF Targeted Infusion Project (Award No. 1238789).
Faculty Advisor: Seema Dhir, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: I made shoe impressions on different surfaces, applied the gellifters and adhesive lifts on each shoe impression, photographed each impression, uploaded each shoe impression file onto a computer and then selected unique features in each impression to narrow down the search in the database from 36,000 to a select few (less than 10 in most instances) and finally concluded what the make and serial/model number of the shoe is.