Crime Scene Investigation is the actual examination of a crime scene, with the intention of finding evidence that can help law enforcement agencies in resolving a crime, and prosecute the perpetrators of the crime, successfully in a court of law. Processing a crime scene is a very delicate matter. It is the duty of the crime scene investigators to ensure that they observe all the set procedures of investigations to avoid contaminating the evidence, thereby making it hard for the investigators to resolve the crime under investigations. For this reason, it is important for crime scene investigators to conduct a systematic analysis of any crime scene to uncover the physical evidence that can be used to determine what happened at the crime scene and apprehend the person or the people involved in committing the crime (Ribaux et al., 2010).
It is important for the investigation procedure to be conducted carefully and systematically, to make certain that all crucial evidence is identified and collected and that fragile evidence is not destroyed. At a scene of a crime, the lead investigator and their team members’ work together to define and secure crime scene areas that may contain evidence. They then examine and document the scene, collect all evidence irrespective of how insignificant it may look and thereafter, preserve and package in a way that it cannot be contaminated. The evidence is then passed to a laboratory for analysis. This will then enable the investigators to reconstruct all the elements of the crime.
In this case scenario, the body of a middle-aged Caucasian man is lying in a river. From the appearance of the body, it looks like it has been on the scene for a couple of days. The body is located at the Antietam Creek and it is caught on the bushes at the side of the creek. It is located at the bottom of a steep hill just near the Power Plant turbine intake tube. A preliminary analysis of the body points to the fact that the man did not drown, but died of another reason such as strangulation (Ribaux et al., 2010). His body was then dumped in the river after he was already dead. The main reason for this accretion is that the body has what looks like sore red marks around the neck. He might also have been strangled with his own rosary that is still around the neck.
It is, however, important to mention that the real cause of death will be known once the toxicology and postmortem results are received from the forensic lab in the coming few weeks. A closer examination of the body shows that the man has a rope tied on his right leg. This rope is tied to an object and this is what has been holding the body in place since it was dumped in the river. This also goes on to reaffirm the belief that the man was murdered elsewhere and his body dumped at the crime scene (Durnal, 2010).
When investigating a crime scene, investigators may face a number of challenges that may hinder them from performing their duties effectively or even pose actual bodily harm that can hurt or lead to their deaths. This is one major reason why crime scene investigators should be protected from any harm that may happen to them. In this case scenario; for example, the body is located in a very challenging location that will pose major challenges and dangers to the crime scene investigators (Ribaux et al., 2010). It is located at a cliff of what looks like a small waterfall. Slight movement of the victim’s body might lead to a situation where it might fall down the cliff hence contaminating the body, which is a great source of evidence that can help solve the crime. For example, some bones such as the skull, limbs, and ribs might break from this fall making it hard for the investigators to determine if the breaks were before or after death. This is what is known as contamination of a crime scene and it makes it very hard for investigators to reconstruct the crimes Durnal, E. W. (2010).
Another challenge the investigators will face is accessing the exact position of the body. The fact that the body is located right at the cliff, which means that investigators will be at risk of falling off the cliff making this a very risky investigation where a person may be severely hurt or even lead to death. To help solve this issue, the police department should provide the investigators with protective gears such as helmets. This is a very important protective gear for this mission because it would help protect the investigators from head injuries in the unfortunate event they fall off the cliff. The investigators should also be provided with a body safety harness to ensure that even if they slip, they do not reach the bottom of the cliff. This will enhance their security even more as they investigate this risky crime scene (Pepper, 2010).
Another major challenge the crime scene investigators may face may include getting bacterial or viral infections when handling the dead body. Handling of dead bodies can be very dangerous because dead bodies are infested with deadly pathogens that can cause diseases. Dead bodies are also good breeding grounds for diseases and it would be risky for the investigators to handle this body without any form of protection. It would be, therefore, important for the investigators to be provided with body masks that protect them from these types of exposures at all times (Ribaux et al., 2010). It is also vital to mention that the body might be having a foul smell and for this reason, it would be prudent for the investigators to be provided with gas masks to protect them from the smell.
From the above discussion, one can see the dangers faced by crime scene investigators on their day-to-day work. Therefore, it is important for police investigators to be provided with all the necessary protection because this is one way they can be able to perform their duties effectively.
Durnal, E. W. (2010). Crime scene investigation (as seen on TV). Forensic Science International, 199(1-3), 1-5.
Ribaux, O., Baylon, A., Lock, E., Delémont, O., Roux, C., Zingg, C., & Margot, P. (2010). Intelligence-led crime scene processing. Part II: Intelligence and crime scene examination. Forensic science international, 199(1-3), 63-71.
Pepper, I. (2010). Crime Scene Investigation: Methods And Procedures: Methods and Procedures. McGraw-Hill Education (UK).
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