Utilizing a Magnetic Locator to Search for Buried Firearms and Miscellaneous Weapons at a Controlled Research Site
Abbreviated Journal Title
J. Forensic Sci.
forensic science; forensic geophysics; magnetic locator; buried metallic; weapons; evidence search; controlled geophysical research; GROUND-PENETRATING RADAR; METAL DETECTOR; CLANDESTINE GRAVES; ARCHAEOLOGY; Medicine, Legal
Forensic personnel generally use basic all-metal detectors for weapon searches because of their ease of use and cost efficiency. For ferromagnetic targets, an alternative easy to use and low-cost geophysical tool is a magnetic locator. The following study was designed to demonstrate the effectiveness of a common, commercially available magnetic locator in forensic weapon searches by determining the maximum depth of detection for 32 metallic forensic targets and testing the effects of metallic composition on detection. Maximum depth of detection was determined for 16 decommissioned street-level firearms, six pieces of assorted scrap metals, and 10 blunt or bladed weapons by burying each target at 5-cm intervals until the weapons were no longer detected. As expected, only ferromagnetic items were detected; weapons containing both ferromagnetic and nonferromagnetic components were generally detected to shallower depths. Overall, the magnetic locator can be a useful addition to weapon searches involving buried ferromagnetic weapons.
Journal of Forensic Sciences
"Utilizing a Magnetic Locator to Search for Buried Firearms and Miscellaneous Weapons at a Controlled Research Site" (2011). Faculty Bibliography 2010s. 1816.