Development of latent prints on fruits, vegetables, and plant leaves using fingerprint powder, magnetic powder, and Lumicyano superglue fuming
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Latent prints can be used as evidence in crime scenes to connect individuals to the location of a potential crime. In some cases, perpetrators may handle partially eaten fruits at the scene of a crime and leave latent fingerprints on the surface of the fruit. Plant leaves of common household ornamental plants and regional shrubs may also be a potential source of latent prints. Fruits, vegetables, and plant leaves have not been extensively studied as substrates for fingerprint development. In order to assess the feasibility of developing and visualizing latent prints on fruits, vegetable, and plant leaf surfaces, black and white fingerprint powder, bi-chromatic magnetic powder, and LumicyanoTM superglue fuming were utilized on tomato, zucchini, cucumber, acorn squash, carrot, mango, plum, pear, orange, pepper, banana, watermelon, Rhododendron leaf, Philodendron leaf, and Jasmine leaf. An aging study up to sixteen days was also conducted on eight of the fifteen substrates to determine the effects of aging on latent fingerprint impression development. Latent prints were recovered from all surfaces with the three techniques. Using a scoring system of 0-2, in which 2 represents the presence of six or more minutiae and 0 represents the lack of minutiae, impressions developed with fingerprint powder scored the highest average across all substrates. The aging study revealed a general decline in the quality of the latent prints over time with LumicyanoTM fuming performing the best.