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E - Epithelial Cell Evidence & Important Contest Update

Epithelial Cell Evidence Solves Crimes.

Randy Comeaux, Lafayette, Louisiana Deputy Sheriff, hid in plain sight for over thirteen years. A serial rapist, on the loose in the small college town, terrified students and residents. An anonymous tip suggested the police take a look at one of their own, Randy Comeaux. Police did just that, but because the perp was skilled at not leaving much evidence, (back before DNA was so prevalent in cases) they had their work cut out. They did have a sample of the perp's DNA, but he wasn't in the system, After the tip, a special task force kept eyes on Comeaux, and picked up his discarded cigarette butts. 

The epithelial cells, Comeaux left on his cigarette butts, matched the DNA in six of the rape cases and Comeaux was arrested and convicted.

Where else can police obtain epithelial cells? 

Dog feces. Yup, that's right. 

Pet CSI:

Phillip Stroud was convicted of a triple homicide, when the lab matched epithelial cell DNA from dog poop to his shoes. Watch what you step in. Sometimes when you step in a pile of crap ... you really step in it. 

Dog feces found on Stroud's shoes was a DNA match to the epithelial cells from the victim's dog. Stroud claimed he had never been at the scene of the crime. Dog poop proved otherwise. Dog feces collect DNA -- bearing epithelial cells from the colon and can be matched to individual dogs in much the same way human DNA is matched to humans.

Now that's what I call really stepping in some shit on the way out.

Are you playing along with my A to Z Crime Fiction Murder Mystery?

Evidence update:

Detective Coker's deputies extended their search to include the victim's backyard, where they collected over two dozen cigarette butts. Neither the victim, Martha Clinton nor her husband, Thomas Clinton are smokers. The cigarette buts were collected, bagged and tagged into evidence. The evidence has been transported to the crime lab for analysis.

The IT guy hasn't had much luck figuring out the cell phone mystery. Detective Coker obtained a search warrant for all electronic devices inside the victim's home and Thomas Clinton's personal cell phone and his other personal electronic devices. Thomas Clinton's lawyer surrendered his personal cell phone, but has filed a motion to quash (yes, it is called a motion to quash -- it is not a motion to squash, as some people erroneously believe) the subpoena as it pertains to his other electronic devices. He claims that Thomas Clinton's iPad, iPad mini and his MacBook Pro laptop are all used in connection with his law practice and turning over the equipment would violate his duty to protect his clients' confidential information.

Hmm... Wonder how that issue will be decided by the judge? What do you think? Will the judge order dead woman's husband to turn over his iPads and his laptop for a digital forensic investigation? Or will the lawyer/client confidentiality clause trump the detective's homicide investigation? Interesting Question

Letter E Clue = elusive

Unfortunately, I am still playing catch up. What I am going to do in an effort to really catch up is this:

I will post my letter F article (hopefully today), but rather than the post I originally planned for letter F:

Letter F will be a Forensic update on the entire case, much of what you can already find here on my Legal Fiction Page. I will compile of summary of the facts, clues and evidence that we have so far in addition to any new evidence for the day.

I will also announce the first weekly winner. Remember to win the weekly Amazon gift card, you do not have to solve anything. Every comment you leave earns you one entry in the random drawing.

Hope you are enjoying the A to Z Blogging Challenge and visiting as many blogs as you can. Here is the 2015 A to Z Sign Up List.


Melissa Sugar said...

Dog poop! Who knew?

Melissa Sugar said...

I find it quite reassuring that science can be so useful in difficult cases!

Annalisa, writing A-Z vignettes, at Wake Up, Eat, Write, Sleep

Melissa Sugar said...

Ahh! Another serial writer this year! How exciting. I will have to go back and catch up!

Also, I misread your tag as just 'butt DNA' instead of 'cigarette butt DNA' and was giggling for moment or two.. :)

~AJ Lauer
an A-Z Cohost
@ayjaylauer on Twitter

Melissa Sugar said...

Quash? Really? And what a great scrabble word at that!

Melissa Sugar said...

Very interesting, Melissa. For criminals, it does pay to be careful.

Melissa Sugar said...

I had heard the cigarette one before, but not the dog poo. LOL. Excellent post.

Melissa Sugar said...

Shut your mouth that's awesome! Love this forensic stuff!!

Melissa Sugar said...

Oh how awesome. A move to quash. I like that nifty word.

What a fun, and interesting, A-Z theme!! I must return.

Melissa Sugar said...

This is so fascinating. I am loving it! That dog crap tidbit is good, too. I bet you write a killer crime novel!

Melissa Sugar said...

Please, no dog poop. I'm an animal control officer. I had a man call me last week, irate because "someone" wasn't picking up after dogs that were crapping in his yard. I asked if he knew who the dog owner was. He said no, but the poop was still there so I could pick it up and have it analyzed. He was serious!

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