Post Number: 204
|Posted on Thursday, December 07, 2006 - 06:48 am: ||
Bottom Line Up Front: Very often the police will not get back with you and report the results of forensic examinations involving such a letter.
When the police collect a suspicious letter from you for forensic processing, they may or may not get back with you concerning the results unless they identify a suspect and you are needed for court testimony concerning the receipt and custody of the letter, and other factors concerning your role as the victim of the offense. The police are not performing the examinations for only you personally, but are performing them to attempt to identify and prosecute criminals for the general benefit of your community (society). By the time forensic examinations are completed, the police may have been working on hundreds of other (even more serious) offences requiring their time and attention. Reporting laboratory results to victims is not a normal part of most criminal investigation procedures.
There are other reasons (besides police being busy with new investigations) for not sharing the results of examinations with victims. These reasons include the potential that the perpetrator(s) might be a coworker, friend or family member of the victim(s), and the police would not want the perpetrator(s) to be aware of whether or not the police successfully harvested evidence that could identify the perpetrator(s).
The forensic exams may be much more involved and time consuming than you might imagine. Even though the collecting officer(s) may have told you the document was being collected for prints, it would be unusual that such a letter would not first be processed by Questioned Document (QD) Examiners in a forensic laboratory for the presence of indented writing and other QD exams (including comparison of the document with any similar letters received by other victims). It is always possible that the suspect(s) may have written something on a piece of paper that was on top of the suspicious letter (and/or envelope)... and the indentations transferred from that prior writing might include names, addresses or phone numbers of interest to investigators. Depending on laboratory capabilities, DNA of suspects may be harvested from the adhesive seal of the envelope flap (or from any postage stamps). As Michele explained below, the exams might be completed by Latent Print Examiners as quickly as two weeks after evidence receipt, but the casework backlog in many forensic laboratories is six to 18 months (or more) if such documents are to be completely examined in QD, DNA and Latent Print Divisions.
Michele Triplett (michele_triplett)
Post Number: 5
|Posted on Tuesday, December 05, 2006 - 07:42 pm: ||
I read your post wrong and thought you were waiting to get the evidence back, not just waiting for the result.
Sorry about that,
Michele Triplett (michele_triplett)
Post Number: 4
|Posted on Tuesday, December 05, 2006 - 07:40 pm: ||
It can take a few hours to process paper or a few days, depending on the equipment and processes used. Usually your evidence isn't the only evidence in the lab to be processed, but I suppose it's possible. In most labs there's a lag between receiving the evidence and when it can be processed. This seems to be about 2 weeks to 6 months.
One more thing to consider, usually paper is processed with chemicals and you won't be able to get this evidence back because after the chemicals are in the paper it's dangerous to handle without gloves. AND, if prints are found, usually the evidence needs to be kept in police custody to be used at a trial.
I don't think these were the answers you wanted, but this is reality.
mapsara (Unregistered Guest)
Posted From: ip65-42-117-172.bad-axe.mi.airadvantage.net
|Posted on Tuesday, December 05, 2006 - 01:12 pm: ||
I received an odd letter and the police have custody of it. They are checking it for prints. How long does it normally take them to check a letter for prints and for me to receive results? weeks or days?