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Identification of the optimum latent fingerprint recovery method from pig skin at varying temperatures

Siah, Jasmine (2020) Identification of the optimum latent fingerprint recovery method from pig skin at varying temperatures. Masters by Research thesis, Murdoch University.

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Successful development of latent fingerprints in criminal investigations can be extremely beneficial in solving cases. Many studies have been undertaken to identify the most effective method for the recovery of latent fingerprints from various surfaces and it was determined that human skin is one of the most difficult surfaces for fingerprints development. However, it is desirable for investigators to obtain latent fingerprints from human skin as physical contact between perpetrators and victims are very common. In light of that, researchers have tested different methods such as alternative light sources, dactyloscopic powders, chemicals, direct transfer and more on skin and have been successful but not without challenges. Factors such as normal body functions, skin conditions, environmental conditions, post-deposition conditions and environmental contaminants can all affect the durability of latent fingerprints and the recovery rate. Hence, results may vary in terms of efficacy in different cases, conditions and countries where many of these factors are different. In cases where fingerprints are smudged or distorted, sweat residue in treated latent fingerprints may be used for DNA recovery which if treated properly can generate DNA profile of person of interest. Nonetheless, some latent print enhancement techniques provide more hindrance to the DNA recovery process than others. This paper presents a comparative analysis on the different recovery techniques tested for the development of latent fingerprints on skin and the overview of how the many challenges affect the durability of latent fingerprints and success rate of recovery.

Keywords: latent fingerprints, human skin, powdering methods, chemical methods, DNA

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Research)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Medical, Molecular and Forensic Sciences
Supervisor(s): Speers, James and Cottrill, E.
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