Latent Fingerprints Essay

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To law enforcement agencies, latent fingerprint evidence is critically important in identifying suspects, due to the unquestionable uniqueness of fingerprints that remain unchanged throughout a person’s lifetime (Holder, Robinson & Laub, 2011). Latent prints are inadvertently left behind on the surface of objects that we come into contact with. Little is known about the specific chemical makeup of latent fingerprint residue, however research has shown that sebaceous secretions, eccrine sweat and apocrine sweat all reside on the pores skin of human fingers and are involuntarily transferred upon contact. In general, surfaces on which latent prints are deposited can be divided into two categories—porous and nonporous. Porous type surfaces allow latent print residue to soak into the surface and include materials like paper, cardboard, wood, and other forms of…show more content…
(Holder, Robinson & Laub, 2011).
In order to examine latent prints, I have chosen to conduct the experiment in the master bathroom. The different surfaces to be dusted for fingerprints include the glass shower door, the mirror door on the medicine cabinet, the toilet paper roll, the hardware on the linen closet, the bathtub faucet and the cardboard packaging for my face moisturizer. I have chosen to use Hershey’s Natural Unsweetened Cocoa powder and a BareMinerals Seamless Shaping and Finish makeup brush for this experiment, as they were handy. Additional supplies include Duck EZ start packaging tape and Mead index cards. I took a small pinch of cocoa powder between my thumb and forefinger and sprinkled it over each surface followed by lightly dusting the powder with the makeup brush. Afterwards I took sections of tape, lifted the prints and adhered them to the index cards.
To begin the experiment, I applied cocoa power to the handle and the lower portion of the sliding glass shower door. I imagined that there would be quite a bit of prints because my toddler son

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