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Collecting DNA Evidence at Property Crime Scenes

Hair and Fiber

Hair and Fiber

The most common methods used to collect hair and fiber evidence include the following:

  • Visual collection. On some surfaces, hairs and fibers can be seen with the naked eye. Through use of clean forceps and paper (i.e., trace paper), the sample can be removed from the surface and placed into a clean piece of paper that can be folded and packaged in a paper envelope.
  • Tape lifting. Trace tapes are available for the collection of trace hair and fiber evidence. The tape is applied to the location of the suspected sample, removed and packaged.
  • Vacuuming. The area where the suspected samples are located is vacuumed and evidence is caught in a filtered trap attached to the vacuum. These samples are packaged in clean trace paper for submission to the laboratory. Vacuuming is the least desirable collection method because there is a risk of cross-contamination if the equipment is not properly cleaned between each use.

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