Working the scene: Part Three
For the sake of discussion let’s jump ahead in the process. Actually, before we would ever start collecting blood or body fluids we would remove bodies and other transportable evidence, but now, let’s talk about collections.
There are two things that are most important here…officer safety and the paper trail. First you never ever touch anything that came out of another person’s body without a significant protective barrier between us and it. That includes breathing.
One of my coroner friends once explained to me that when we smell the odor of decay what we are actually inhaling are small particles of the substance we are smelling. Think about it. (SMILE)
Anyway…back to the topic at hand. When we collect fluids we use cotton swabs. When possible it is best to moisten the tip with sterilized water then press it into the collection point and rotate the swab. Once collected, place the swabs into a container, not plastic, that will allow it to dry. After this, or rather while this is going on someone has to record that made the collection and from where. This will also include the date and time of the collection.
I’ll leave you with a question, what happens if the sample you need is soaked into the floor or wall? On my next blog, I’ll tell you what I did on one of my investigations.