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RE: [forensic-science] Removal of all blood, DNA, body fluids question

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  • Robert Parsons
    It would not be difficult to remove all traces of blood or DNA from a hard, smooth, nonporous surface like a bathtub using only water and household cleaners -
    Message 1 of 7 , Mar 13, 2004
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      It would not be difficult to remove all traces of blood or DNA from a
      hard, smooth, nonporous surface like a bathtub using only water and
      household cleaners - you simply wash it down the drain (where it will
      flush to sewer, not stay in the drain, unless there is some obstruction
      in the drain; but you might be able to find hairs in the drain that
      could be useful for DNA typing). However, doing the same for a carpet
      or floor would be far more difficult. If the flooring was completely
      sealed so that no blood could soak/seep in anywhere, it's possible, but
      it still seems unlikely. If the floor was not sealed, there will always
      be traces - in the grout, between the floorboards, under the baseboards,
      in or under the carpet, etc.). Finding usable samples could be a
      challenge if the suspect did a good job cleaning up, but they will be
      there - it's just a matter of finding them by looking in all the right
      places. A carpet would have to be completely laundered or steam-cleaned
      to remove all traces, but useable samples could be destroyed by treating
      with the right chemicals - the blood would still be there, but its
      ability to test positive as human blood or yield a DNA profile might not
      survive.

      So the answer to your question is "yes, it's possible," but the better
      question would be, is it likely? This is not my specialty, but from
      what I know of it, I'd say if we're talking about the surface of a bath
      tub it's likely, and if we're talking about a living room floor, it's
      not likely. How about it crime scene specialists? What do you think?

      Bob Parsons, F-ABC
      Forensic Chemist
      Indian River Crime Laboratory
      Ft. Pierce, FL

      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: Stephanie Page [mailto:spage@...]
      > Sent: Tuesday, March 02, 2004 8:23 AM
      > To: forensic-science@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: [forensic-science] Removal of all blood, DNA, body fluids
      question
      >
      > Hi all - I am a public defender in Boston and have learned much from
      > your group.Thanks. I have a question: Can "Scrubble Bubbles" and Lysol
      > completely clean away any traces of blood and/or DNA?
      >
      > I have a murder case where there is no body and absolutely no forensic
      > trace evidence of any kind. No DNA, no Blood, no body fluids. It is
      > alleged that a body was cut up in a bathtub after being on a living
      > room floor for over 24 hours post death. The place was thoroughly
      > searched by the State Police crime lab. The drains were seized and
      > nothing was found. No surprise to us because nothing ever happened.
      > Their theory is that the scene was cleaned with "Scrubble Bubbles" and
      > Lysol and that was able to completely destroy all blood and DNA.
      >
      >
      >
      >
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