PDA

View Full Version : Police question: Jewelry on murder victim



Sarah Madara
11-18-2010, 04:38 AM
I've got a psychic MC who "reads" personal items like jewelry. She's close friends with a detective on a murder case that has personal interest for her. She's itching to get her hands on the victim's necklace so she can do her psychic thing with it.

I'm assuming any jewelry on the victim goes into evidence right away. Then what? How long until it would be released back to the family? If the forensics people don't find anything on the necklace, do they still keep it? My detective character might bend the rules if he were just risking a dressing-down, but he wouldn't risk his job or the case to indulge the psychic MC.

Thanks in advance!

Drachen Jager
11-18-2010, 07:46 AM
If they think there's a chance it will be of use forensically or in court they'll keep it until after a conviction.

Rowan
11-18-2010, 04:16 PM
I've got a psychic MC who "reads" personal items like jewelry. She's close friends with a detective on a murder case that has personal interest for her. She's itching to get her hands on the victim's necklace so she can do her psychic thing with it.

I'm assuming any jewelry on the victim goes into evidence right away. Then what? How long until it would be released back to the family? If the forensics people don't find anything on the necklace, do they still keep it? My detective character might bend the rules if he were just risking a dressing-down, but he wouldn't risk his job or the case to indulge the psychic MC.

Thanks in advance!

Evidence is generally maintained until the case has been adjudicated. Can you "feel" the necklace through the evidence bag? He could allow her to hold the sealed item. Still bending the rules somewhat but it wouldn't tamper with the evidence...

RJK
11-18-2010, 04:29 PM
Once the jewelry has been through the forensics lab, it no longer needs to be pristine. She could touch it after the tests, fingerprints, DNA, etc. were done. Especially if the tests were negative, and it meant solving the case or not.

Soccer Mom
11-18-2010, 06:45 PM
Once the jewelry has been through the forensics lab, it no longer needs to be pristine. She could touch it after the tests, fingerprints, DNA, etc. were done. Especially if the tests were negative, and it meant solving the case or not.


This. We don't keep personal items until adjudication. There is simply no need. The only reason it would be kept is if it was really important, like something that could be retested.

quickWit
11-18-2010, 06:58 PM
The only reason it would be kept is if it was really important, like something that could be retested.

...or if it was really sparkly.

idempotent1729
11-18-2010, 10:50 PM
Sometimes they do keep things for a very long time, though. It depends on how useful it is to the case. Even in a rather trivial example, once the police caught someone attempting to steal my husband's bike from where it was locked to a bike rack. They seized his bike as evidence against the thief, and for months my husband tried to get it back with no success. On one occasion he called the PD and they asked him, "When did this happen? Was it last year?" which gave us a sense of the time-scale on which we might hope to recover it! The idea was that they would keep it until they made a conviction and then if my husband asked them nicely he could get it back; if not the police would destroy the bike. I hope they would be more sympathetic/helpful in a murder case than an attempted bike theft, but I do think it all depends on how central they think the item is to making a conviction.

Rowan
11-19-2010, 02:21 AM
This. We don't keep personal items until adjudication. There is simply no need. The only reason it would be kept is if it was really important, like something that could be retested.

My bad---in my line of investigation, items (of evidentiary value) are generally (often) kept until the case has been adjudicated (in case of appeals, etc.).