New Forensics Tool May Re-Open Many Cold Cases: CERA
Prior to now, it has been almost impossible to track latent prints from discharged cartridge cases. But a new invention in the field of forensics technology was unveiled last week that will send uncaptured criminals scrambling, for it has the technology to reveal fingerprints on spent bullet cartridges.
CERA, the Cartridge Electrostatic Recovery and Analysis device, was unveiled at the Northamptonshire Police headquarters last week by the inventor, John Bond, Scientific Support Manager at the police department, and the company set up to exploit its technology, Consolite Forensics.
The CERA distributes a special powder that has a high electrostatic potential uniformly over the discharged cartridge case. The corrosion of the brass surface is revealed by the powder, even if the fingerprints had burned off during firing long before.
Once the powder has been optimized, a high resolution camera and lighting system captures and processes a flat image of the fingerprint from the entire circumference of the cartridge. This image can then be entered into the automated fingerprint identification system.
The CERA will receive further testing before being sold to police forces, but inventor Bond says he has already received many cartridges from unsolved murders for analysis.