Tattoo Database

FDLE is unveiling a new data base that could help police crack cases. There are no fingerprints, DNA samples or mug shots involved. This data base logs "ink".

A man is getting a new pair of wings today, custom designed tattoos are more popular than ever.

Alain Rodgers of Euphoria Tattoos says, "So this is your opportunity to do something for yourself that you can take to your grave and no one can ever take it away from you."

Tattoos may follow you to your grave, and if you ever spend time in a Florida prison they will also follow you into a new FDLE data base. It features more than 370,000 inmates along with a description of every tattoo on their bodies. Sometimes it's all a victim remembers.

Ed Ricord, the FDLE analyst who developed the data base, says, "People may fail to remember how tall a person is or whether they have a beard or a moustache, but if there's a tattoo, they usually remember it."

The Leon County Jail has been logging its inmates' tattoos for about eight years. Since last year about one in four inmates arrived "with ink".

Detectives like Dawn Butler uses that data base regularly.

Detective Dawn Butler with LCSO says, "It's helped me to compile a list of possible suspects in cases that I'm working where I have very limited information. I may only have information about a tattoo on their arm or face or chest."

The new statewide tattoo data base may not crack any cases, but it could provide detectives with one more puzzle piece, a cross, a heart, or something far more unusual. FDLE's tattoo data base was started about a year ago and it's free to any police agency that wants to install it on its computers.