128th SEMI-ANNUAL SEMINAR (Fall 2016)
CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF CRIMINALISTS
Oct 31 - Nov 4, 2016
Los Angeles, California
EMERGING TRENDS IN RAPID DNA LEGISLATION AND TECHNOLOGY
Kevin Bebak, Kay Strohl, and David King, IntegenX Inc.
In January 2015, the United States Congress introduced legislation which will enable rapid DNA technology to be installed in booking stations across the country. The key advantage of rapid DNA technology is that arrestee DNA profiles can be generated, uploaded to CODIS, and ultimately report a hit/no-hit result in real-time during the booking process. Since their introduction, the Rapid DNA Acts of 2015 (HR 320) and 2016 (S 2348) have gained broad support from victims' advocacy groups, industry associations representing forensic scientists, prosecutors and law enforcement officials, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In June 2016, the US Senate passed S 2348 by unanimous consent. Shortly after, the US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee approved the language of HR 320 and recommended it for a floor vote. The R-DNA Act will dramatically change arrestee DNA procedures in the 32 states which have active arrestee programs.
This workshop will examine the benefits of the legislation and explore the new collaborative workflow between forensic DNA laboratories and booking stations, as arrestee DNA testing moves outward from centralized state labs. Additionally, the workshop will discuss the status of commercially available rapid DNA platforms. Lastly, the developmental validation of IntegenX's second generation Rapid DNA System will be discussed. This platform is designed to work in wide-scale hub-and-spoke deployment, with a software application enabling remote control and monitoring of systems in the field. Attendees of this workshop will be prepared for the impending changes in arrestee DNA testing brought on by new legislation and technology.
PROBABILISTIC GENOTYPING USING THE EXACT METHOD
Kent M. Harman, Genetic Technologies, Inc.
Probabilistic genotyping (PG) has headed down the overly complex Markov Chain Monte Carlo method and proprietary algorithm path which is causing admissibility problems across the US. However, PG using the exact method is manually verifiable, reproducible, and understandable.
Bullet is an application developed by the eDNA Consortium that will calculate complex mixtures to include deferentially degraded suspected profiles and include robust degradation curve capability. Bullet has extended the novel concept of combining the "Exact Method" of probabilistic genotyping with Tvedebrink's Probability of Dropout and Degradation Curve models to address differential degradation. Kent will address the advantages of the Exact Method as compared to Markov Chain Monte Carlo methodologies and provide further understanding using casework examples.
The purpose of the presentation will be to introduce the Bullet tool (free to all Consortium member agencies) and to step through the algorithm demonstrating that PG does not need to be a black box.
RAPID NUCLEIC ACID EXTRACTION TECHNOLOGIES AMENDABLE FOR FIELD-DEPLOYABLE HUMAN IDENTIFICATION
Tanya M. Ferguson, Ph.D., Mark T. Brown, Ph.D., and Robert Doebler, Ph.D., Claremont BioSolutions
Since the inception of DNA fingerprinting or DNA profiling technology in the 1980s, law enforcement and intelligence agencies have relied heavily on DNA extraction from biological specimens for human identification. Sources of DNA can range from biological fluids (e.g. blood, semen, saliva) to touch DNA-generating epithelial cells, which is moving to the forefront as the most desired and successful test for forensic DNA laboratories. Regardless of the downstream genotyping analysis for human identification (e.g. RFLP, PCR, STR), sample integrity and risk of contamination are major concerns both during evidence collection in the field and during processing in the lab.
In an effort to facilitate nucleic acid extraction, Claremont BioSolutions (CBio) has developed novels ample preparation methods for the rapid isolation of DNA or RNA using OmniLyse®, PureLyse®,DNAexpressâ„¢, and RNAexpressâ„¢ technologies. Compact and field deployable, these technologies can be used to isolate nucleic acids from eukaryotes and prokaryotes present in a variety of sample matrices (i.e. stool, sputum, blood, soil, saliva, buccal swabs, and tissue) in as little as 15 minutes. Initial testing of DNA isolated from fingerprints on a glass surface or tape-lifted from metal and plastic surfaces, resulted in more quantifiable DNA than other commercially available kits. This was achieved in less than 15 minutes, with no external instrumentation (e.g. centrifuges) required. CBio has further demonstrated the extraction of intact DNA from saliva and buccal swabs, with similar yields as other commercially available kits. These extraction technologies are customizable, depending upon the application, and can be integrated into a cartridge format to allow for automated sample preparation solutions via CBio's SimplePrep® X8 or X1 instruments, with the latter being portable for on-the-spot extractions in less than 10 minutes. Therefore, due to the speed, portability, and customizability for a variety of field and lab-based applications, CBio's sample preparation technologies are well-suited for human identification within the DNA forensics arena.
DEVELOPMENT AND VALIDATION OF A TARGETED NEXT GENERATION SEQUENCING SOLUTION FOR FORENSIC GENOMICS
Melissa Kotkin, Illumina
Sequencing (NGS) by Synthesis (SBS) enables the entire human genome to be sequenced in one day. As a simpler, yet highly effective alternative, forensic scientists can choose to perform targeted sequencing of PCR products. By sequencing a dense set of forensic loci, casework and database efforts are directed toward the genomic regions that best answer forensic questions, relieving privacy concerns and simplifying analysis. Because it does not depend on allele separation by size, the number of targets interrogated is not limited, allowing a more comprehensive result to be generated.
We describe the development and validation of a targeted amplicon panel for forensic genomics that combines a core of global short tandem repeat markers used routinely today, along with additional forensic loci that can provide information when standard markers would fail to sufficiently resolve a case. Maximizing the number and types of markers that are analyzed for each sample provides more comprehensive and discriminating information for standard samples, as well as challenging samples that contain low quantities of DNA, degraded and/or inhibited DNA, and complex mixtures. The targeted amplicon panel will enable more complex kinship analysis to be performed, and can also reveal phenotypic and biogeographical ancestry information about a perpetrator to assist with criminal investigations. This capability is expected to dramatically improve the ability to investigate dead end cases, where a suspect reference sample or database hit are not available. We will describe the complete workflow, system, and data analysis tools, and present data from validation and collaborator studies including reproducibility, sensitivity, actual forensic samples, and concordance with standard capillary electrophoresis methods.
STREAMLINE YOUR VALIDATION WITH HASSLE-FREE QIAGEN VALIDATION SERVICES
Pamela Jarman, QIAGEN
This presentation will provide an overview of QIAGEN's validation services that can be tailored to your laboratory's needs. Validation services can consist of comprehensive validations that are worry-free and hands-off for the laboratory, as QIAGEN handles all planning, laboratory work, analysis, and data reporting. Alternatively, validation services can be a joint effort between QIAGEN and the laboratory staff to allow the laboratory staff involvement in the entire process. Any portion of the DNA testing process, for casework or databasing can be included in QIAGEN validation services.
SIGNIFICANT CASES WHERE DNA WAS PARAMOUNT
Daima Calhoun, Riverside County District Attorney's Office
Three cases where DNA was used to identify the assailants will be discussed. The facts, the role DNA played, and the outcome of each of those cases will be discussed.
EFFECTIVE COURTROOM PRESENTATION OF DNA EVIDENCE
Daniel DeLimon, Riverside County District Attorney's Office
This 1-hour presentation will focus on strategies for effective presentation of DNA evidence in court, including;
- prosecutor / DNA analyst joint coordination of evidence to be tested;
- pretrial preparation including exhibits and pretrial conferences;
- courtroom testimony; and
- dispelling confusion created by defense DNA experts.
HOW THINKING "INSIDE" THE BOX HELPED SOLVE AN ASPIRING MODEL'S DEATH 25 YEARS LATER
Steve Renteria, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Crime Lab
On April 29, 1985, Jo Ann Marie Jones disappeared from the City of Long Beach while leaving her boyfriend's apartment early that morning.
Her boyfriend called her work and learned she never made it in that day. Her family reported her missing. Three days later, her boyfriend saw a male, Stafford Spicer, driving Jo Ann's blue Camaro and called the police. The police arrested Spicer but later released him based on lack of evidence. On June 8, 1985, fisherman returning to their car in the local mountains noticed a foul odor and discovered a decomposed body. The body was later identified as Jo Ann Marie Jones.
At the time, authorities did not have sufficient evidence to charge Spicer with her murder. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Crime Lab analyzed items from the car, but did not obtain any probative results. The case was reopened 25 years later utilizing Federal Cold Case Grant monies. With current quantitation and amplification techniques, the laboratory was able to go back to the original evidence analyzed back in 1985 to produce new investigative leads which helped solve the case and bring closure to the family.
EYEBALL IN FORMALIN: UNDERSTANDING THE EFFECTS OF FORMALIN ON THE DOUBLE HELIX
Elias Valencia, California Department of Justice, Riverside Lab
This presentation will discuss the challenges of extracting DNA from eye tissue that had been in liquid formalin for an extended period of time, as well as pre-extraction treatment and extraction protocol modifications to try to overcome the effects of formalin on DNA.
SEXUAL ASSAULT CASE STUDIES WITH DNA RESULTS
Diana Faugno, Eisenhower Medical Center
This presentation will provide case studies of sexual assault. The history of events will be presented followed by short summaries of the swabs collected. The medical findings of injuries will also be presented so the scientist might understand the most common injuries seen in these cases. Oftentimes, the examiner does not know the outcomes from the crime lab so importance of this communication will be mentioned as well.
Case discussions must have confidentiality as it relates to photographs and case information. Forensic Nurse Examiners typically function autonomously and need to discuss difficult cases. Most SANE/FNE programs contain a variety of nurses with varied backgrounds and levels of experience. Teamwork and discussion will offer educational benefit to the individual examiner team. The criminalist is part of that team.
The following cases will be discussed:
- touch DNA from the band of underwear;
- serial rapist;
- DNA on a nightgown;
- child case; and
- 15 year drinking hotel.
The objectives include:
- discussion of individual sexual assault cases with DNA findings and implications for collection of swabs, clothing, and body fluids;
- demonstration of sample documentation report for the scientist to review history and assist in prioritizing analysis;
- listing outcomes of cases, if known; and
- discussion of Rapid Analysis DNA (RADS) program at Eisenhower Medical Center.
LEAN SIX SIGMA WHITE BELT TRAINING
Heather Jamieson, Sorenson Forensics
Whereas the rate of violent crimes has been decreasing markedly, requests for laboratory testing of evidence have increased radically. This unprecedented wave of evidence testing is due to many factors, including heightened awareness of the power of forensic examinations, increasing complexity of investigations, and advances in technology that warrant re-analysis of evidence. The increase in caseload has resulted in staggering backlogs and considerable delays in reporting results, which, in turn, lead to delays or even dismissals of criminal investigations. To address these issues, laboratories have hired additional personnel, invested in new technologies, and outsourced casework. Unfortunately, for most, the return on investment has not been realized, as many gains cannot be sustained.
AUTHENTICATION OF THE MISSING 9/11 AMERICAN FLAG FROM GROUND ZERO, NEW YORK CITY
William M. Schneck, Microvision Northwest-Forensic Consulting, Inc.
Raising the Flag at Ground Zero is an iconic photograph taken by Thomas E. Franklin of The Record (Bergen County, NJ), on September 11, 2001. The picture shows three New York City firefighters raising the American flag at Ground Zero of the World Trade Center, following the September 11th attacks. The flag came from the yacht â€˜Star of America', owned by Shirley Dreifus, which was docked in the yacht basin in the Hudson River at the World Financial Center. Firefighters cut the yardarm off of the yacht with a K-Saw and then took the flag and its pole from the yacht to an evacuation area on the northwest side of the site. They found a pole about 20 feet off the ground where it was proudly displayed. The city thought it had possession of the flag after the attack, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and George Pataki signed it, and it flew at the New York City Hall, Yankee Stadium, and on the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) during its service in the Middle East. Even a U.S. postage stamp was printed honoring the flag. However, when the flag's owner prepared to formally donate the flag, it was discovered that the original 3 x 5 foot flag was replaced with a larger flag five hours after it was raised and photographed. Television shows such as Lost History, have documented the missing flag. In 2015, an individual briefly entered a fire station in Washington State dropping off what he said was the 9/11 flag from New York City. This presentation will discuss the forensic analysis conducted by this author in the authentication of an American icon which will be on display at the 9/11 Museum in New York.
CRIME SCENES WITH CHEMICAL HAZARDS: WORKING IN A HAZARDOUS ENVIRONMENT
Brian Escamilla, Network Environmental Systems, Inc.
Most drug labs are treated as hazardous materials sites and handled by specially trained law enforcement personnel wearing chemical protective equipment and respirators. But, certain situations involving fatalities may involve non-hazmat trained personnel investigating a scene where hidden chemical hazards exist. This presentation will highlight cases where criminalists and other crime scene investigators have had to work with hazmat personnel in investigating crime scenes. The scene hazards, recognition of evidence, recommended protocols, and necessary personal protective equipment for handling the body and evidence will be addressed.
WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS IN THE UNITED STATES
Alissa Bjerkhoel, California Innocence Project
Wrongful convictions have plagued the United States since its inception and only in the past two decades has there been a nationwide movement to seek out and rectify these cases. It is no small task. The United States represents about 4.4% of the world's population, yet it houses around 22% of the world's prisoners. At the same time, it is estimated that between 2.3% and 5% of these prisoners are innocent.
California, which boasts the second largest prison population in the nation, has a tremendous need to help those wrongfully convicted. To date, there have been 164 California exonerations since 1990 by innocence organizations, such as the California Innocence Project, private firms, and prosecutor conviction review units. But there is much work to be done not only to get innocent people out of prison and support them when they are free, but also to improve the criminal justice system so that such wrongful convictions can be prevented and rectified.
Causes of wrongful convictions and case examples will be discussed.
THE PIETRZAK MURDERS: A CASE STUDY
Daniel DeLimon, Riverside County District Attorney's Office
On October 15, 2008, Riverside County Sheriff's Department personnel responding to a "check the welfare" call found the bodies of USMC Sgt. Janek Pietrzak and his wife Quiana Jenkins-Pietrzak in their home. Sgt. Pietrzak was bound, gagged, and beaten. Quiana was stripped naked, bound, blindfolded, and sexually assaulted. They had been executed side by side in the living room of their new home. Approximately two weeks later, investigators identified a potential suspect in the case and the investigation that followed resulted in four fellow, active duty United States Marines being arrested for the double homicide. All four men were convicted and three received death sentences. The crime scene processing, initial investigation, interviews, the forensic work that supported the convictions, and the sentences will be discussed.
DECEASED INMATE DNA DATABASE (D3) PROGRAM
Tobi Kirschmann, California Department of Justice, Jan Bashinski Lab
It is estimated by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) that over 10,000 inmates and parolees under its jurisdiction did not provide DNA specimens prior to their death. In an effort to reduce this number, the CAL DNA Data Bank designed the Deceased Inmate DNA Database (D3) program, and launched it in February 2011.
The goal of the D3 program is to obtain DNA specimens from deceased inmates and parolees, develop searchable DNA profiles, and upload them to the national Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) convicted offender index to be searched against forensic unknown profiles from unsolved cases. The most typical type of D3 specimen is whole blood but the program also accepts blood stains, swabs, finger/toe nails and tissue. Specimens usually arrive via medical examiner or coroner but could be from any law enforcement agency. D3 specimens must be from qualified convicted offenders who died in custody, and their qualification is documented in court or agency records or in a law enforcement database.
The D3 program has great potential in solving future cold cases and exonerating the innocent. Currently, there are three counties actively participating in the D3 program and there has been one match to a forensic unknown. With continued support, promotion, and recognition, the D3 program strives to be active in all counties in California.
KNOW YOUR SITTER --A TODDLER DEATH
Jamie Daughetee, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Crime Lab
This is a case presentation of a toddler death. The crime scene, DNA evidence, and reconstruction will be discussed. This case brought about some interesting challenges, which included the blood spatter interpretation, managing expectations of the laboratory analysis, and drawing conclusions.
THE KELLE JARKA CASE
Marianne Stam, California Department of Justice, Riverside Laboratory
On April 28, 2008, Kelle Jarka returned home after a morning coffee run. He drove his white Lexus into the garage before he noticed that something was amiss. Mr. Jarka entered the partially open door leading from the garage into the house and heard his baby crying. He later found his wife, Isabelle, dead from an apparent head wound in an upstairs bedroom. The police were called and the investigation began. This presentation will show the value of observation and asking the right questions when at a crime scene.
TRACE EVIDENCE AND SCENE RECONSTRUCTION
Peter De Forest, Forensic Consultant, New York, Ralph R. Ristenbatt, Pennsylvania State University
The power and potential of trace evidence will be discussed. The use of trace evidence extends well beyond the narrow domain of associative evidence problems. This is certainly not widely appreciated. Typically, trace evidence is thought of as always requiring time intensive analyses and producing results with low probative value. This mistaken perception has led to serious adverse consequences.
Some of the following assertions will be made in connection with case examples during the body of the presentation:
- Trace evidence and an effective scene investigation are inextricably entwined.
- Every case presents unique problems. For the approach, one size does not fit all.
- Ideally, the physical (trace) evidence problem must be defined early at the crime scene, not later in the laboratory.
- Recognition of trace evidence at the scene can be absolutely essential.
- A trace that goes unrecognized at the crime scene cannot contribute to the case solution. It is lost and gone forever. Thus, the case solution may vanish without a trace.
- Scientific reasoning in the reconstruction process can be used to predict the existence of confirmatory trace evidence.
- The criminalist should engage in an open-ended inquiry.
Michael Chamberlain, California Department of Justice
This presentation will advise attendees of pending legislation and ballot initiatives that may impact crime laboratory operations, including provisions addressing firearms, marijuana, sex crime statutes of limitation, and the death penalty. Other recent legal developments will be identified, such as the California Supreme Court's significant July decision in People v. Sanchez clarifying the law of expert witness testimony.
STIPEND TO PRESENT AT 2017 IAI CONFERENCE IN ATLANTA, GEORGIA
Gregory Laskowski, Criminalistics Services International, LLC
NIST is providing two stipends to anyone who is selected to present a paper at the 2017 IAI annual education and training conference in Atlanta, Georgia from August 6 through 12. Abstracts must be submitted no later than December 31, 2016. Abstracts can be submitted via the IAI website by clicking on the NIST abstract button or sent via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. The two winners will receive vouchers from NIST that covers registration, lodging, and domestic travel.
We will accept papers in the fields of traditional criminalistics including DNA (how it relates to evidence collection), questioned documents, forensic odontology, and forensic anthropology. Selected presenters must agree to register for the IAI conference and submit their abstracts to the Program Chair prior to the due date. They must list that their presentations fall under the discipline of general forensics. NIST employees and contractors are not eligible to receive these stipends.
NIST BALLISTICS TOOLMARK RESEARCH DATABASE
Johannes Soons, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
The NIST Ballistics Toolmark Research Database (NBTRD) is an open-access research database of firearm toolmarks on bullets and cartridge cases. The goals of the database are to: 1) Foster the development and rigorous validation of novel measurement methods, algorithms, metrics, and quantitative uncertainty estimates for objective firearm identification, 2) Address concerns about the limited scientific knowledge base on the similarity of marks from different firearms and the variability of marks from the same firearm, and 3) Ease the transition to the application of three-dimensional (3D) surface topography data in firearms identification. The database was developed in response to a 2009 report by the National Academy of Sciences that expressed concern about the objectivity of visual firearms identification by forensic examiners. The National Academy urged the development of objective comparison criteria and statistically rigorous methods to quantify the degree of uncertainty in an identification result so that juries can evaluate the weight of the evidence. The NBTRD currently contains over 1600 test fires and is designed to grow into an ever more diverse database through crowd sourcing of test fires and data from firearms all over the world. NIST partnered with industry and the forensics community to standardize the data exchange format for 3D surface topography data. The format enables the unambiguous exchange of data from various organizations, studies, and instruments. The development of the database is sponsored by the National Institute of Justice of the Department of Justice. The database can be found at: http://www.nist.gov/forensics/ballisticsdb
PLASTIC BAGS AND A COUPLE OF BAD EGGS
Donald J. Petka, Orange County Crime Laboratory
Typically when plastic bags are encountered in casework, they contain drugs of abuse. In extremely rare cases, these bags may be planted on an unsuspecting victim. A case review will be presented in which polarized light microscopy was used to compare zip closure plastic bags planted in the victim's vehicle to plastic bags obtained from a suspect.
SAN BERNARDINO MASS SHOOTING: LESSONS LEARNED
Lieutenant David Green, San Bernardino Police Department
On December 2, 2015, 14 people were killed and 22 were seriously injured in a terrorist attack at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California. This event and others are leaving law enforcement professionals asking themselves if this is the new normal. Learn more about the event timeline, suspect profiles, and valuable lessons learned by first responders.
PROBATIVE VALUE OF VERY SMALL PARTICLES ADHERING TO COMMON ITEMS OF PHYSICAL EVIDENCE
David A. Stoney and Paul L. Stoney, Stoney Forensic, Inc.
Particle Combination Analysis uses co-occurring particles to test alternative attribution hypotheses. One application of Particle Combination Analysis is the exploitation of the thousands of very small particles (VSP) that are found in and on items of evidence, using these particles to test associations and enhance probative value. VSP combinations are so complex that until recently there was no practical method to identify and interpret these combinations.
This presentation will cover the current state of our NIJ-funded research. The emphasis is on the application of statistical methods to SEM/EDS analytical results for VSP recovered from surfaces of common items of physical evidence: handguns, cell phones, ski masks and drug packaging. Prior related research results are available from the NIJ at the following web addresses:
VSP were collected from actual items of evidence from cases in one Southern California jurisdiction. Particles were harvested from plastic drug packaging using commercially prepared (GSR-type) SEM stubs. Slightly moistened swabs were used to recover VSP from handguns, cell phones and ski masks. The SEM stub specimens were suitable for direct SEM/EDS processing. Swab specimens were prepared by aqueous extraction, low vacuum filtration onto polycarbonate filters, and mounting on SEM/EDS stubs. For each specimen VSP were characterized by SEM/EDSanalysis, binning the analytical response for each particle into x-ray energy bins corresponding to a set of 18 elements.
Sets of target particle types (TPTs) were defined based on normal mixture modeling using a training set composed of random sampling from all sources. Multinomial distributions were defined for each source based on the numbers of particles corresponding to each of the TPTs. For comparison of TPT profiles the probability density of the observed count in a test specimen was assigned in each of the N multinomial densities (corresponding to each of potential sources). This probability was used as the measure of correspondence to each of the reference sources. The probabilities can be used for classification or for ranking of candidate sources as in a library search. Measurements of probative value were defined using a Bayesian classifier applied to the multinomial probability densities, assuming an equal prior among all N classes.
This project was supported by Award Nos. 2012-DNBX-K041 and 2015-DN-BX-K046 awarded by the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this presentation are those of the instructors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Justice.
THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF FORENSIC SCIENCES STANDARDS BOARD (ASB) FIREARM AND TOOLMARK CONSENSUS BODY
Gregory Laskowski, Criminalistics Services International, LLC
The American Academy of Forensics Sciences created the Standards Board (ASB) as a response to the need for standardization from the forensic community. This was in line with recommendations in the 2009 NAS report. It is now working in cooperation with the Forensic Science Board of the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC). This presentation will discuss the inception of the ASB, its legal status as an entity, its membership, its mission, and a discussion on its consensus bodies with particular emphasis on the discipline of firearms and toolmarks.
THE PERSISTENCE OF IGNITABLE LIQUIDS ON LAUNDERED T-SHIRTS
Michelle Corbally, Redwood Toxicology Laboratory
When attempting to set fire to a material that is relatively difficult to ignite, a perpetrator may turn to an ignitable liquid to accelerate the growth of the fire. These ignitable liquids may potentially be spilled onto the clothes of the person who is pouring it. It has been questioned whether or not these ignitable liquid residues could be washed off in the course of laundering, as would be the case if someone was trying to eliminate evidence of having committed arson. This study sought to determine if ignitable liquids could be detected on cotton, polyester, and nylon t-shirts after they have been cleaned in a conventional residential washing machine. Different volumes ranging from 10 mL to 100 µL of a 1:1 mixture of gasoline and diesel fuel (a heavy petroleum distillate -HPD) were added to half of a t-shirt. This t-shirt fragment was inserted into the washing machine with another t-shirt fragment without ignitable liquids in order to test how efficiently ignitable liquids would transfer from one shirt to another. One detergent was investigated to determine if it has an effect on the retention of ignitable liquids on the t-shirts, relative to simple water immersion and agitation. A subsection of the test shirts was dried in a dryer to evaluate the extent to which any ignitable liquids remaining after washing with detergent would evaporate during the drying process. The presence of ignitable liquids was determined using passive headspace extraction with activated charcoal strips and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS).Gasoline and/or a HPD could be identified on all of the samples spiked with 10 mL of the standard accelerant mixture (SAM) for all washing conditions (water only, detergent added, and detergent with subsequent drying). At the 1 mL spike level, at least one of the ignitable liquids in the SAM was potentially identifiable for the different washing conditions, but the fabric type had an observable effect on which ignitable liquid was identified. At 100 ÂµL, there were some indications of ignitable liquids on the cotton and nylon fabrics. However, for the polyester samples, ignitable liquids could not be identified once detergent was used and were detected at an even lower abundance once drying was incorporated. The different fabric types, use of detergent, and volume of ignitable liquid each had an observable impact on the final appearance and identifiability of the ignitable liquids. These variables also affected the extent to which the components of the ignitable liquids transferred to secondary pieces of fabric. The transfer to secondary pieces of fabric and the surprising retention of ignitable liquids through laundering has potentially important implications.
SYNTHETIC DRUGS IN SAN DIEGO: CREATING A NEW SAN DIEGO MUNICIPAL CODE ORDINANCE
Lisa Merzwski, San Diego Police Dept Forensic Science Section
Starting in November of 2015 and continuing until about March of 2016, the City of San Diego experienced an unprecedented outbreak of hundreds of spice overdoses. The San Diego Police Department, in partnership with the City Attorney's Office, went to work trying to combat this growing problem and, in the process, learned that the current State laws that attempt to regulate synthetic drugs, such as spice, are inadequate for criminal enforcement. With this in mind, the Police Department and the City Attorney's Office created an ordinance to protect the public that makes sales and possession of synthetic drugs, such as spice, illegal. As a laboratory, we had to determine how we would support this new and groundbreaking ordinance. With so many novel synthetic drugs being created and no standards available, would we be able to identify the material being sold on the street? This presentation will talk about the journey from street to law and how the laboratory supports the new ordinance.
THE IMPORTANCE OF DIGITAL EVIDENCE IN HUMAN TRAFFICKING INVESTIGATIONS
Detective Luis Carrillo, San Diego County Sheriff's Office â€“San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force
This presentation will discuss various human trafficking cases containing digital evidence. It will cover the facts in these cases and the role digital evidence from mobile devices played in the investigations.
AN OVERVIEW OF HOW PERSONAL ELECTRONIC DATA CAN BE COLLECTED AND USED
Ngoc Tran, California Department of Justice, Riverside Laboratory
With the rapid advances in computing power and technology, it is difficult to live in today's society without leaving an electronic footprint. This brief presentation focuses on a curious person's analysis on how some federal and local agencies and the private sector can construct a map of citizen activity based on their digital trail and the ways in which these digital artifacts have been used.
DIGITAL EVIDENCE'S ROLE IN SOLVING POLICE INVESTIGATIONS
Detective Wade Stern, Univ of California Riverside Police Dept
This presentation will discuss various cases containing digital evidence. It will cover the facts in the cases, the many different sources of digital evidence and the role they played in these cases, and their outcomes.
NATIONAL DRUG TRENDS
Todd Davis, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
Over the past 10 years, the drug landscape in the United States has shifted. The opioid threat, consisting of controlled prescription drugs, fentanyl, and heroin, has risen to epidemic levels, and currently impacts significant portions of the United States. The methamphetamine threat remains prevalent, but the production source shifted from domestic to foreign. The cocaine threat was in a state of steady decline, but indications suggest the cocaine threat may be rebounding. Law enforcement focus on marijuana continues to evolve due in part to the national discussion surrounding legalization efforts, while domestic production has increased. The New Psychoactive Substances threat is challenging for law enforcement and policymakers, with synthetic cannabinoids and synthetic cathinones being marketed to a larger user base. Transnational criminal organizations, and domestic gangs, are more intertwined with the end goal to fund their organizations. These groups continue to smuggle millions of dollars in U.S. currency through established money laundering methods.
PEOPLE VERSUS HOLMAN: SOLVING A 44 YEAR OLD COLD CASE
Meiling C. Robinson, LAPD Forensic Science Division Field Investigation Unit
Beth Silverman, Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office
On August 27, 1972, Meyler's daughter and son-in-law discovered the body of 78-year-old Helen Meyler in her bed inside of her apartment. Meyler lived alone on the second floor of a five-story apartment complex. Meyler was found with her nightgown pulled up around her waist. Additionally, blankets covered Meyler's body and a pillow covered her head. She had several visible wounds to the right side of her head and in the right temporal area. A candelabra was found on the unoccupied, adjacent bed. There was blood spatter on the wall behind the beds. There was no forced entry into the apartment. The sliding glass window in Meyler's bedroom was open. The screen had been removed and was lying on the floor below. Her apartment was ransacked and left in disarray.
In September 2014, the blanket taken from Meyler's bed was analyzed. Semen was detected on the blanket and an unknown male DNA profile developed from the sperm fraction was uploaded to CODIS. On September 21, 2014, a CODIS hit was obtained. In January of 2015, a reference sample for the CODIS confirmation was obtained by detectives. The DNA profile obtained from the sperm fraction of the cutting from the blue and white blanket matched the DNA profile obtained from Harold Holman. In July 2016, Harold Holman (now 70 years old) was found guilty of the first degree murder of Helen Meyler. He was sentenced to life in prison. This presentation will highlight the legal issues and technical aspects of the case from the perspectives of the Criminalist and the Deputy District Attorney. The triumphs and challenges of working a 44 year old case will be discussed.
INTEGRATING TRACE EVIDENCE EXAMINATIONS AT THE NFI: MICROTRACES MATERIALS GROUP
Peter D. Zoon, Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI)
Historically, trace evidence examiners have been generalists, with a broad knowledge of many different traces and materials. At the NFI, the rise of more sophisticated analysis methods has shifted the focus from broad generalist towards highly trained specialists, most of whom have expert knowledge of a specific type of trace (paint, fiber or glass). As Stoney and Stoney  mention in their paper, both approaches have their merits and drawbacks.
A recent change in organizational structure of the NFI has given rise to the opportunity to consolidate and integrate several trace evidence disciplines into a new group: Microtraces Materials. Within this group, every examiner and reporting officer is to have a broad general knowledge of all types of trace evidence handled within the group. It would, however, be a waste to ignore the highly specialized knowledge that is also available. Within the new group, several subject matter experts have been designated. These can be experts in a specific type of trace discipline (e.g. fibers) or in a specific analysis method (e.g. LA-ICPMS or SEM/EDX). This presentation will describe in more detail, the types of trace evidence, analysis methods, and the organizational structure of the new Microtraces Materials group of the NFI.
1. D.A. Stoney and P.L. Stoney Forensic Sci. Int. 251 (2015) 159-170 2. D.A. Stoney and P.L. Stoney Forensic Sci. Int. 253 (2015) 14-27
EVALUATION OF AN INVERTEBRATE ANIMAL MODEL SYSTEM FOR DETERMINING THE ADVERSE EFFECT PROFILE OF SYNTHETIC DRUGS
Jay Vargas, California State University, Los Angeles
Determining the adverse effect profile of the ever increasing number of synthetic drugs reaching the street and encountered by law enforcement remains a challenge hindered by both ethical considerations for human consumption studies and cost involved with traditional vertebrate animal model systems. The freshwater planarian, an invertebrate flatworm, has recently been identified as an alternative pharmacological and toxicological screening system. In this study, method optimization parameters and the reproducibility of behavioral measurements using this system for synthetic cannabinoid drug exposures was investigated.