It's a snapshot that can make or break a case; footprints tie criminals to crime scenes, and detail is everything when gathering the evidence.
“It can be as important as a fingerprint because the wear and tear on shoes are unique,” says Karen Brown, a Robbery Task Force Sergeant.
“I can give 50 people the same shoes, and three months later we'll have different wears and tears on them," says Tallahassee Forensic Specialist, Jeff Fennell.
They're lessons being learned by forensic teams and police investigators in Tallahassee. Whether documenting shoe impressions or examining decomposed bodies, there's only one way to do it right.
“It's very important, if you make identification, that it's done correctly,” says Tallahassee forensic supervisor, Roger Hawkes.
That entails thorough examinations; checking the temperature around victims, even taking samples of Insects. All can help nail down a suspect and solve a crime.
“Having done this 12 years, you're familiar with it but you don't realize how much detail and knowledge forensic people have,” says Lawrence Revell, Tallahassee Police Investigator.
Passing that knowledge on to investigators is the goal, because Hawkes says it takes a team effort to crack a case.
About 25 investigators and forensic specialists took part in Wednesday’s training at Leon High School.