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DNA - A Prosecutor’s Practice Notebook Inventory

Potential Locations for DNA Evidence

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DNA evidence may be found in a variety of locations.  It can be found on persons involved in a crime (victim and suspect), as well as at the crime scene itself. Consider where the victim and or suspect(s) were prior to and following the crime. Statements taken from the victim, witnesses and suspect may lead to the location of potential evidence. DNA found at these locations may support the state's theory of the prosecution, corroborate statements, and validate witness accounts.

Example Locations of Potential Evidence

1. Skin cells: under victim's fingernails or transferred from the perpetrator to a ligature, rope or other object used to subdue the victim: the sticky side of tape used to bind victims
2. Hairs: grasped in fingers, around items used as ligatures such as telephone cords, on tape used to bind a victim, victim's body or clothing, carpets, beds, car seats, or trunks
3. Saliva: envelopes, stamps, stocking masks, bite marks or other sites of oral contact (from licking, sucking, etc.)
4. Personal items: jewelry, eyeglasses, and wrist watches.
5. Cigarette butts
6. Weapons, cartridges or bullets, any area that can be swabbed
7. Places, items or objects used to store, contain, or transport victims
8. Open beverage containers, chewed gum, or partially consumed food left at the scene
9. Bodily excretions, including expectorants, urine, or fecal material
10. Personal hygiene items: tissues, napkins, towels, condoms, tampons, sanitary pads, tooth brushes, combs, and hair brushes
11. Latex gloves found near a scene may have been discarded by the perpetrator

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