Improved Forensic Analysis of Prints in Blood

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Dale Russell


There is a need in forensic evidence investigation for improved analysis of latent prints in blood. It is presently impossible to know with certainty the order of contact of a latent print with blood, in other words, whether a print was made first and then contacted with blood, or if the print was made in blood already on a surface. This is difficult because of the aqueous properties of blood, and the properties of the oil on the skin. The oil, left by a print on a surface before the addition of water (i.e. blood), can force the blood to flow between the oil left by the print, creating what seems like a fingerprint in blood. This is presently indistinguishable from a print made in the blood. The hypothesis of this research is that specific identifiers such as air oxidation could be determined, and the order of contact deduced from that information. Spectroscopic methods including FTIR, ATR, and Raman, and surface analysis methods such as X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) will be used to assess oxidation of blood and human skin oils that occurs on exposure to air. This is expected to provide a “time stamp” for the order of contact.

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