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Search Patterns

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Search Patterns

When a crime has been committed and investigators need to search for evidence, there are different search patterns that investigators can choose from. These search patterns include spiral, line, zone, and grid (Siegel & Mirakovits, 2013). Depending on the crime scene, the investigator will choose from one of these search patterns that will best utilize the search for evidence. When an investigating team needs to search for evidence in a field where the field is overgrown, a grid search is a good search to utilize. When a field is overgrown, the searches may have to crawl on their hands and knees to locate any evidence and perform a thorough search. A grid line search consists of searchers following a line pattern and then following another line pattern that is perpendicular to the first line pattern (Lee, Palmbach, & Miller, 2001). The grid search pattern is a good search to utilize because it allows two different searchers, or the same searcher, to search the same area twice. Therefore, the searchers a more likely not to miss any evidence that needs to be collected. A con to the grid line search is that it is very time consuming and if the boundaries to be searched are not well established, than the search will not be very thorough (Lee, Palmbach, & Miller, 2001). The grid line search was chosen for this scenario because a thorough search can be accomplished by having two different searchers look over the same area. If one searcher missed evidence that could be pertinent to the case, the other searcher is likely to notice the missed evidence. Another search pattern that would be very effective in this type of scenario would be a line search. During a line search, searchers walk arm lengths apart from one end of the scene to the other end, move a little farther from where they just walked, and walk back toward the other end. This type of search would be useful because it is somewhat similar to the grid line search. More than one searcher is used and they walk side by side looking for any evidence. They know where the boundaries begin and end. A successful investigator should have a strong foundation in report writing so the judge, jury, and prosecutor will be able to understand how the crime occurred (Byrd, 2015). The documentation done by the investigator should tell the story of what took place during the crime and should contain only facts of the crime, not opinions, conclusions, or analysis. Another reason to have a strong foundation in report writing is if a case goes cold and another investigator takes over the cold case years later, that investigator will be able to visualize how the crime occurred, understand the evidence that was collected at the scene, and what lab reviewed the evidence that was collected. If an investigator does not have a strong foundation in report writing, then there is a chance that any evidence collected could be inadmissible in court (Byrd, 2015). The types of information that would be included in the report regarding this investigation would be photographs of the crime scene, notification information, arrival information, scene description, victim description, crime scene team, sketch of the crime scene, and information pertaining to what lab the evidence was transferred to for processing (Miller, n.d.). The investigators opinions, analysis, or conclusions should not be included on the report (Ramirez & Parish-Fisher, 2012). When an investigator includes opinions, analysis, or conclusions, the investigator is not describing the facts of the crime scene. This could cause the report to be inadmissible in court because the report could sway a jury (Ramirez & Parish-Fisher).

References
Byrd, M. (2015). Written documentation at a crime scene. Retrieved from http://www.crime-scene-investigator.net/document.html
Lee, H.C., Palmbach, T., Miller, M.T. (2001). Henry Lee’s crime scene handbook.
Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books?id=rBJRAi8cSJUC&pg= PA126&lpg=PA126&dq=grid+method+crime+scene&source=bl&ots=nI5jejTD06&sig=QKN4yx3WJRvigL1rqyBXDoUR7Ss&hl=en&sa=X&ei=bixzVYb8MYT8oASZroPoCQ&ved=0CCgQ6AEwAjgK#v=onepage&q=grid%20method%20crime%20scene&f=false
Miller, M.T. (n.d.). Crime scene investigation. Retrieved from http://www.cbsd.org/cms/ lib07/PA01916442/Centricity/Domain/1908/CSI%20Text%20Marilyn%20Miller.pdf Ramirez, C.R & Parish-Fisher, C.L. (2012). Crime scene processing and investigation workbook. Retrieved from https://books.google.com/ books?id=5SDSBQAAQBAJ&pg=PA95&lpg=PA95&dq=what+should+not+be+included+in+a+crime+scene+report&source=bl&ots=HCWxtlnVsx&sig=IccH827oJ156UB0dyHN6cWXBFF4&hl=en&sa=X&ei=BotzVdScCJWqyATFvYL4Bg&ved=0CEsQ6AEwCDgK#v=onepage&q=what%20should%20not%20be%20included%20in%20a%20crime%20scene%20report&f=false
Siegel, J.A. & Mirakovits, K. (2013). Forensic Science: The Basics. (2nd ed.).
Boca Raton, FL: Taylor and Frances Group, LLC. Retrieved from https://online.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781439895054/pages/191649525

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