Three NIJ-funded research articles on the reliability of footwear comparisons were published in 2020. Part I—Participant Demographics and Examiner AgreementPart II—Range of Conclusions, Accuracy, and ConsensusPart III—Positive Predictive Value, Error Rates, and Inter-Rater Reliability
For years, investigators have relied on the Paint Data Query database to identify the make of a vehicle by matching the physical attributes, chemical composition, and infrared spectrum of the paint, primers, and clear coating layers. However, there are concerns with the database, generic coding being one of them.
Two scientists with a long record of research into the forensic value of very small particle populations examined cell phones, handguns, drug packaging, and ski masks from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office examine whether such particles are valuable as physical evidence.
Two related NIJ-supported studies evaluated the possibility of using an individual’s skin microbiome — a community of microorganisms that inhabit a specific environment — as a form of trace evidence from evidence found at a crime scene. The first study, led by Dr. Rob Knight of the University of California, San Diego, examined whether the …
With funding from the NIJ, Dr. Michael Sigman and Mary Williams from University of Central Florida developed a method for analyzing fire debris samples that are highly contaminated with pyrolysis interferences. This technique provides an alternative objective method for classifying ignitable liquid residues, which is one of the only viable options for helping to progress …
Nanoparticles and other subvisible particles potentially present in nearly all trace evidence are often overlooked in forensic investigations. NIJ-supported researchers have characterized several types of particles and developed detection methods.