Body parts evidence analysis



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

Analysis: Serology; Tool Mark Examination; Trace Evidence Analysis

Case #: 000989-22B-2020

Case Description: Laurie Daniels homicide investigation

Investigative Agency: Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department

Investigating Officer(s): Det. S. Murphy, Det. T. Armstrong


Summary of Preliminary Evidence Analysis

Tool Marks

  • Examination of tool marks on the bones and cartilage of severed limbs by microscopic analysis under oblique lighting indicated that the tool used to dismember the body was a hacksaw.
  • By measuring the holes in the bones and cartilage, it was determined that the hacksaw blade was 18 teeth per inch, as indicated in Figure 1.
  • The hacksaw and blades can be purchased at any local hardware store or Walmart.
  • No distinguishing individual characteristics of the blade were noted.

Figure 1

Click to enlarge

Fingernail scrapings

  • Microscopic evaluation of material from underneath the fingernails revealed soil, bark residue, fibers, and biological material.
  • Soil Analysis
    • The same type of soil was found under the fingernails from both hands, which indicates it may have been deposited before the body was dismembered.
    • The soil found under the fingernails was inconsistent in mineral and rock composition to any of the soils samples collected from the two crime scene locations in Taylor, MS, the crime scene in Toccopola, MS (Pontotoc County), the crime scene in Batesville, MS, (Panola County) and the crime scene in Bruce, MS, (Calhoun County).
    • A significant amount of fungal spores consistent origination in a dark, damp area were present in the soil samples from under the victim's fingernails.
  • Bark Analysis
    • The bark recovered from under the fingernails was compared to the bark samples provided from the vandalism crime scene in Taylor, MS. Both samples were found to be Pinus taeda (Loblolly pine).
  • Fiber Analysis
    • Examination of fibers recovered from under the fingernails found they were consistent with maroon nylon carpet fibers known as "Antron."
  • Biological Material Analysis
    • DNA analysis of biological material recovered from under the fingernails is currently in progress. Results are pending.

Ligature Marks

  • Close examination of the wrists of both arms revealed ligature marks consistent with the victim being bound antemortem.
  • Examination of the features of the marks indicated the ligature was likely a rope of undetermined composition with a diameter of approximately 1 cm.


Additional analyses are ongoing.



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