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On the afternoon of February 8, 2007, I received a dispatch call on a potential homicide at 1100 SE Lynn Boulevard, Prineville, Oregon. This location is the local high school, named Crook County High School. The information given to me prior to my arrival at the scene is as follows:
Upon arrival to the scene, school security guard William Parkins and responding Officer Edward Richardson of Crook County Police department provided some information to me. Parkins provided to me the name of the victim, Marc Hollingsworth. Officer Richardson informed me that Hollingsworth's mother, Karen Lynn Griesel Hollingsworth, was already notified and currently en route to our location. Parkins then told me that student and girlfriend of the victim, Amber Johnson, had been the one to find Hollingsworth's body after seeing his red 2000 Ford F150 in the back row of the school parking lot. Soon before seeing him, Johnson had been waiting at a stop light in order to return to the school lot when she had heard a loud noise. She presumed it to be a vehicle backfire or a car crash nearby, but was too preoccupied to pay further attention to the sound.
Officer Richardson informed me of the paths around the vehicle that had been taken by Johnson, Parkins, himself, and the EMS team, as the lot was still quite empty from lunch hour. Officer Richardson informed me that Johnson had touched the door handle, moved the body in an attempt to wake Hollingsworth, and once she determined his status, to check for a pulse. EMS had not moved the body after Johnson, as it had already been in a position to check for a pulse, Officer Richardson stated.
Also relayed to me was the location of the body within the vehicle and obvious evidence within the vehicle. When first opening the truck door on the driver side, I completed an observation and determined that because of the small area within the truck, it would be best to conduct a grid search of the interior of the vehicle and a quadrant search of the exterior of the vehicle. The surrounding area and the parking lot would be searched using a linear search from the central point being the truck if it was found as necessary.
Before entering the crime scene, I applied my personal protective equipment upon my body in order to protect myself and the crime scene. As I entered the vehicle from the passenger side, I observed that the vehicle was turned off without keys in the ignition, the doors had been unlocked, and the windows had been rolled up fully (Fisher, 2004). I created a sketch and took notes as to where all evidence found was located. Based on the crime scene, an overview sketch appeared to be the best method (U.S. Department of Justice, 2011s). I measured each object from two perpendicular locations in order to accurately report its exact point within the truck.
I first worked on the passenger side of the vehicle. The carpet appeared clean, the seat was undamaged, and there did not appear to be any other person in the vehicle recently with the victim. Though there were no obvious pieces of evidence on the passenger side, I took pictures of the carpet, seat, dashboard, ceiling, door, glove box, and underneath the seats. I took photos with an issued digital camera in order to see a view of the crime scene almost as it appeared in real life. There appeared to be fingerprints on the seat belt clip. These fingerprints were lifted.
After processing the interior passenger side of the vehicle, I moved to process the driver side of the vehicle. It is apparent that this is the half of the vehicle where the homicide took place and there will be much evidence to process. Victim Marc Hollingsworth appeared to have suffered a single gunshot wound to his right temple, right above his ear at eyebrow height. I began by recording this information by sketch and digital photograph. I photograph was taken close up of the wound without any scales of measurement. Not including the head wound, Hollingsworth did not appear to have suffered any other injuries, nor were their signs of struggle. Upon observation, it appeared that the gunshot wound resulted in the bullet entering Hollingsworth's head without an exit point. There was a lack of an exit wound in Hollingsworth's head or clear portions of the vehicle. After taking pictures of Hollingsworth, I began to process the body. I collected fibers from the victims clothing and checked his hands for defensive wounds. No defensive wounds were found, but clenched in his hand was a piece of paper that appeared to be a suicide note upon first examination. There was liquid on the right side of his black jacket that appeared to be blood from his wound. After collecting evidence from the body, I fingerprinted the steering wheel, rear view mirror, keys, door handle, and what appeared to be the weapon ending Mr. Hollingsworth's life, a .22 sporting Ringer rifle and casings that were bagged and logged as evidence. The rifle was found between the victim and the passenger seat. I finished by fingerprinting the interior and exterior of the car.
A twenty four hour period after processing the crime scene information, I met with a medical examiner to take more photographs of the wound. The victim had needle dots in the hip area on his right side and had an insulin monitor attached. The electronic device noted that Hollingsworth was a sever Type I Diabetic, and that his insulin pump was currently broken. Photographs of the insulin pump needle marks and gunshot wound were taken in office at scale.
Every step to the crime scene process was very significant. The photographs assist the crime scene investigator recall the process of taking evidence and acts as a second eye to anything that may have been missed. They are useful in court and if others want to examine the crime scene later.
The sketch will prove to be beneficial because it will display the way and place the body was found, the dimensions of the truck interior, and where evidence was found in reference to this, With overview sketching one is able to determine where evidence is in reference to all other objects and the interior of the vehicle. When reconstructing the crime scene, both the photographs and the sketches will assist greatly, to investigative teams and within the courtroom. The notes that were documented at the crime scene will help in the reconstruction process, and help with the less reliable human memory.
Evidence within the vehicle assisted most. Each was bagged separately with notes regarding observation. Each bag provided my name, date and time, my agency name, case number, victim name, and a description of the evidence. I collected fingerprints and blood from the victim's shirt. The fibers from his jacket were used to verify each person's story and to see if any others came into contact with him. The shell casing was collected to verify that they had come from the collected rifle. The insulin pump verified that Hollingsworth's insulin levels were off, and the note provided insight into his last thoughts.
The collected evidence was personally submitted by me to the Crook County Police Department Crime Lab for analysis. Many teams within the crime lab were used to analyze evidence. The latent unit processed the collected fingerprints, the toxicology unit processed the victim's blood, the biology unit will process the fibers from the shirt, the firearms unit will process the victim's body for gunshot residue and test the shell casings to verify the gun shot the bullet, and the forensic unit will analyze the supposed suicide note the victim was grasping at death (Saferstein,…[continue]
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