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Patent/Latent Print

NCJ Number
Journal of Forensic Identification Volume: 51 Issue: 5 Dated: September/October 2001 Pages: 469-471
James L. May III
Date Published
3 pages
This article describes the process used to develop a latent print from a forged check submitted to a Utah bank.
In addition to possible latent prints, the check bore a single inked fingerprint left by the suspect on the face of the forged check. In Utah most banks require an individual who cashes a check to leave an inked impression of his/her right index finger on the front face of the check to be cashed. The quality of this inked impression varies from an easily identifiable fingerprint to an illegible smudge, solely dependent on the patience of the teller and client's cooperation. In the case at issue, the inked fingerprint impression on the check was identifiable and resembled a lower count loop, primarily recording the upper tip area of the client's finger. The inked impression on the check was compared to the inked fingerprints for the possible suspect, but no match was found. The check was then processed with ninhydrin in pentane in an attempt to develop latent prints. In addition to developing partial latent prints throughout the surface of the check, an unusual reaction occurred. The area directly below the inked impression developed a latent print continuation of the same finger. The latent print completed the partial inked print, and both prints collectively made the impression easily identifiable. The newly formed and completed fingerprint impression was again compared to the suspect's inked fingerprints, with negative results. The check was submitted into the State's AFIS database, which includes all States connected through the Western Identification Network. Thus far, no suspects have been identified. 3 figures


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