Main content area

Two sources and two kinds of trace evidence: Enhancing the links between clothing, footwear and crime scene

Wiltshire, Patricia E.J., Hawksworth, David L., Webb, Judy A., Edwards, Kevin J.
Forensic science international 2015 v.254 pp. 231-242
clothing, crime, forensic sciences, mulches, palynology, vegetation, women, United Kingdom
The body of a murdered woman was found on the planted periphery of a busy roundabout in Dundee, United Kingdom. A suspect was apprehended and his footwear yielded a similar palynological (botanical and mycological) profile to that obtained from the ground and vegetation of the crime scene, and to that of the victim's clothing. The sources of palynomorphs at the roundabout were the in situ vegetation, and macerated woody mulch which had been laid on the ground surface. The degree of rarity of individual forensic markers, the complexity of the overall profile, and the application of both botanical and mycological expertise, led to a high level of resolution in the results, enabling the exhibits to be linked to the crime scene. The suspect was convicted of murder. The interpretation of the results allowed conclusions which added to the list of essential protocols for crime scene sampling as well the requirement for advanced expertise in identification.