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Preliminary search forensics

MISSISSIPPI CRIME LABORATORY

DATE ANALYSIS PERFORMED: 12/20/2012

Andrew Needham, FTEE
Jackson Laboratory
Jackson, MS 39205
601-987-XXXX (FAX 601-987-XXXX)

Analysis: Trace Evidence Examination

Case #: 003972-25K-2012

Case Description: Monica Drum Homicide

Investigative Agency: Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department

Investigating Officer(s): Det. S. Murphy, Det. E. Parker

Preliminary Analysis of Evidence Recovered from the Ledford Property, New Sarpy, LA

Fibers

After obtaining a search warrant for David Ledford house, police recovered a hunter green work shirt made by Dickies. Fiber samples taken from the shirt were compared to the fibers recovered from the crime scene and found to be microscopically similar (both were 65% Fortrel polyester/35%). Thin layer chromatography (normal phase silica, 5% methanol/chloroform) of the fiber dyes of each sample also gave similar chromatograms:

A final basis of comparison was infrared spectrometry of the fibers, which also suggested that the two samples are similar.

Conclusion: The fibers of the shirt of David Ledford can be included as a possible match to the fibers taken from the crime scene.

Fiber comparison

Pollen & Animal Hairs

Soil samples taken around the Ledford property had similar mineralogy and contained the same type pollen grains in the crime scene sample. Visual inspection of the Ledford property by palynologist Dr. Melvin McCoy also confirmed the presence of bald cypress trees, palmettos and water oaks. Dr. McCoy also noted that microscopically the extent and ratio of each pollen type of the crime scene sample was similar to samples taken from the Ledford property.

During the search, investigators noted the presence of several animal hides, two of which were subsequently taken to the crime lab for examination. The hair from one of these hides was shown microscopically to originate from a swamp rabbit. The hair of second hide was identified as the gray squirrel.

Conclusion: The soil and animal hairs found on the Ledford property are generally consistent with the samples found at the crime scene.

Pollen

 

Fingerprints

Comparison of unidentified fingerprints recovered at the crime scene found Fingerprint 003972-P032 from the computer monitor is consistent with David Ledford's right thumbprint.

 

Other findings

A search of the residence yielded a pair of Converse brand tennis shoes, which are generally consistent in size and shape with the footprints at the crime scene.

The residence search also yielded a .38 Smith & Wesson revolver, which is consistent in caliber and manufacturer with the murder weapon. Ballistics analysis is ongoing.

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