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Author Topic: Crime Scene Closure  (Read 8113 times)

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intothepast

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Crime Scene Closure
« on: January 07, 2013, 01:44:52 AM »

I am wondering how well guarded a murder crime scene would be late a night a few days after the murder. I want to have my 'detective' sneak into the crime scene but am not sure whether it would be possible for her to do this without being caught.

thank you
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Old Bill

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Re: Crime Scene Closure
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2013, 11:55:00 PM »

It would be an individual department thing. I can't think of any crime scene, murder or otherwise, that we held for more than 48 hrs and usually released it once all the tech stuff was done.  I suppose if all the tech services couldn't get done at once, the scene would be secured either by an officer, if available, or sealed off with crime scene tape until everyone was finished with it.  Then again, since death scenes are under the jurisdiction of the ME, they might hold it longer also.

If it wasn't your detective's case he would not have reason to enter if the scene was sealed.  Of course, once the scene was released, anyone could go in.

I'm sure others may have a better grip on this since my last crime scene was in 1989.  Good luck with your story and welcome aboard.

Old Bill
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intothepast

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Re: Crime Scene Closure
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2013, 07:43:25 PM »

Thanks so much!
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Dave Freas

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Re: Crime Scene Closure
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2013, 08:11:58 PM »

A cop friend told me a few years ago that once a crime scene is established, the techs work it until they've gathered every bit of evidence possible.  Then the scene is released.

Once it is released, any evidence that might be discovered would probably be excluded by the courts because of the possibility that it was planted after the scene was released.  If nothing else, chain of custody would be questionable regarding any evidence discovered.

To expand a little on what Old Bill said, I would think that if a crime scene could not be worked constantly until evidence collection was complete and was so critical to the investigation that it couldn't be released, the police would post an officer to guard the scene.  Let's face it if someone wanted into the place bad enough, a piece of tape across the door wouldn't stop them.  But I could be way, way off base here.

I suggest you check out The Graveyard Shift at www.leelofland.com/wordpress/ for all your questions regarding how police operate.  Or consult Lee Lofland's book Police Procedure And Investigation.

Hope this helps.

Dave
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linda

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Re: Crime Scene Closure
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2013, 10:44:27 PM »

Both Dave and Bill gave you excellent answers.   That's also the way our department does it. 

The Crime Scene officers work the scene until they've collected all the evidence.   If it's something that's going to take some time or a different level of expertise to extract the evidence, such as a computer - cell phones -additional weapons and so on, they'll confiscate it as evidence so that they can collect what they need from it in the lab.

Same thing as Dave said; you'd have a tough time getting something into evidence that you didn't collect while on the scene.   Anything collected after the scene was released would be considered 'tainted.'
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KarensaK

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Re: Crime Scene Closure
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2013, 11:37:14 PM »

I have a follow up to the OP question, even though this is 120 days dead -

How thoroughly would investigators scour a crime scene? I know there are tons of cases they miss all sorts of things, so there's always plausible oversight (in my tale, that is) but if it's an apartment that usually doesn't have an official attic, but some kind of attic crawlspace, would they think to check up there or would they focus on ground level stuff, as a rule?

I want them to miss this area during crime scene investigation but if they'll "always" do it, then I need another option.
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Old Bill

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Re: Crime Scene Closure
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2013, 09:04:33 AM »

Karen,

I could see a crawl space being easily missed at a scene. Some are so obscure even tenants don't realize they have one. Unless of course, something else brings it to the attention of the investigators, such as blood trails or disturbed clothing (if in a closet which they usually are).

Good luck. Hope this helps.

Old Bill
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Dave Freas

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Re: Crime Scene Closure
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2013, 09:12:49 AM »

And the techs may see the access to the crawlspace but not open it because there's no sign it's been opened recently so, therefore, there's nothing important to solving the crime in there.

Or it could be one of the techs working the crime scene could be involved in the crime and know a key clue is hidden in the crawlspace, so he or she intentionally 'overlooks' the hatch.

Dave
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KarensaK

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Re: Crime Scene Closure
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2013, 04:05:20 PM »

Perfect  ;D

Thanks so much!
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