Results of Examinations:
Comparison of geologic materials for the purposes of determining a common origin is accomplished by
using one or more analytical techniques.
These techniques can include:
Munsell color determination in a light box under day light conditions; the determination of
texture using stereobinocular and pétrographie microscopes; and the identification of components
present and their relative abundances using stereobinocular and pétrographie microscopes and
additional instrumental methods as needed. The actual tests performed are dependent on the
type(s) and quantity of the geologic material present, and the needs of the examination/analytical
requirements. The properties expressed are used as comparison criteria. When specimens are
indistinguishable in all their observed properties, the possibility that the compared specimens
originated from the same source cannot be eliminated.
Twenty-two pairs of footwear and a transport bag (Q249 through Q29,3) were
submitted for comparison of any soil present to soil recovered from the vicinity of the crime
scene (K15 though K30). The footwear was received packaged in pairs. Because of the
possibility of transfer between items packaged in contact with each other, the debris from each
pair of shoes was recovered to a single container and examined collectively. Each container of
debris from a pair of shoes is denoted with the specimen numbers of both shoes, for example,
Q249-Q250. Specimen Q253 contained a fragment of glass embedded in the sole of the shoe.
This glass fragment could not have been the result of transfer from specimen Q254 and is
denoted as debris from specimen Q253.
No geologic materials were recovered from specimens Q249-Q250, Q251-Q252, Q254, Q255-Q256,
Q257-Q258, Q259-Q260, Q263-Q264, Q265-Q266, Q267-Q268, Q271-Q272, Q273-Q274, Q279-Q280,
Q283-Q284, Q287-Q288, and Q291-Q292.
Debris containing geologic materials was recovered from specimens Q253, Q261-
Q262, Q269-Q270, Q275-Q276, Q277-Q278, Q281-Q282, Q285-Q286, Q289-Q290, and Q293.
These specimens were examined visually using a stereo binocular microscope. Specimens Q253,
Q261-Q262, Q281-Q282, Q285-Q286, Q289-Q290, and Q293 contain insufficient geologic
materials for meaningful comparison to the recovered soils from the crime scene (K16 through
K18 and K20 through K29). Specimens K15, K19, and K30 are principally composed of plant
materials, and contain insufficient geologic materials for comparison.
Soil and/or sediment recovered from specimens Q269-Q270, Q275-Q276, and Q277-
Q278 is different in color than the soils and debris from the crime scene (K15 through K30).
Additionally, abundant plant material is present in soils from the crime scene that is not present
in the soil and/or sediment recovered from specimens Q269-Q270, Q275-Q276, and Q277-Q278.
Accordingly, the soil and/or sediment recovered from specimens Q269-Q270, Q275-Q276, and
Q277-Q278 did not originate from the crime scene as represented by specimens K16 through
Kl 8 and K20 through K29.
The inability to associate specimens through a mineralogical examination does not
preclude that the item(s) could have been present at the area in question. Soil differs both across
the land and down the soil profile as a function of parent material, climate, biological activity,
geography, and time, yielding soil which is distinct from place to place and with depth below the
surface. These changes can occur abruptly or gradually. Therefore, the soil samples from a
specific location must be interpreted to represent only that site, and may not exemplify all soils in
the area or soil that may have been present in the past.
Botanical examinations are not currently being conducted in the Federal Bureau of
Investigation Laboratory. Universities and local extension services may be of some assistance in
the analysis of plant material.
Debris recovered from the trunk of a vehicle (Q26 through Q28), and debris recovered
from a shovel (Q46 and Q46.1) were submitted in an attempt to determine the provenance of any
soil present. There is insufficient soil present in the debris from inside the trunk and from the
trunk interior and fender well interior (Q27 and Q28, respectively), with which to undertake a
provenance study. Debris from the trunk (Q26) contains mineral grain with textural features of
widely differing environments. Although it is possible that these different environments were
once present in the same location across geologic time, this material probably represents an
accumulation of materials from different sources collected into the trunk over a period of time.
Because these materials are intimately mixed, no sources of these materials can be determined.
Multiple soils were recovered from the shovel and label on the shovel (Q46 and
Q46.1, respectively). This examination was discontinued after the discovery of the victim’s
The results of other examinations will be the subject of separate reports. The
specimens will be returned to you under separate cover at the completion of the FBI Laboratory
examinations. The supporting documentation for the opinions and interpretations expressed in
this report is retained in the FBI Laboratory files.
For questions about the content of this report,
please contact Geologist/Forensic Examiner Maureen C. Bottrell at (703) 632-xxxx. For
questions regarding the status of the specimens, please contact Evidence Control Unit Request
Coordinator Erin Martin at (703) 632-xxxx.
Maureen C. Bottrell
Trace Evidence Unit
This report contains the opinions/interpretations of the examiner(s) who issued the report.