Controlled research utilizing a basic all-metal detector in the search for buried firearms and miscellaneous weapons
Abbreviated Journal Title
Forensic geophysics; Forensic archaeology; Metal detector; Buried; weapons; Buried firearms; GROUND-PENETRATING RADAR; CLANDESTINE GRAVES; ARCHAEOLOGY; SOIL; Medicine, Legal
Incorporating geophysical technologies into forensic investigations has become a growing practice. Oftentimes, forensic professionals rely on basic metal detectors to assist their efforts during metallic weapons searches. This has created a need for controlled research in the area of weapons searches, specifically to formulate guidelines for geophysical methods that may be appropriate for locating weapons that have been discarded or buried by criminals attempting to conceal their involvement in a crime. Controlled research allows not only for testing of geophysical equipment, but also for updating search methodologies. This research project was designed to demonstrate the utility of an all-metal detector for locating a buried metallic weapon through detecting and identifying specific types of buried metal targets. Controlled testing of 32 buried targets which represented a variety of sizes and metallic compositions included 16 decommissioned street-level firearms, 6 pieces of assorted scrap metals, and 10 blunt or bladed weapons. While all forensic targets included in the project were detected with the basic all-metal detector, the size of the weapon and surface area were the two variables that affected maximum depth of detection, particularly with the firearm sample. For example, when using a High setting the largest firearms were detected at a maximum depth of 55 cm, but the majority of the remaining targets were only detected at a maximum depth of 40 cm or less. Overall, the all-metal detector proved to be a very good general purpose metal detector best suited for detecting metallic items at shallow depths. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Forensic Science International
"Controlled research utilizing a basic all-metal detector in the search for buried firearms and miscellaneous weapons" (2010). Faculty Bibliography 2010s. 687.