Shell Casings
Why M-Vac

Shell Casings

Shell Casings at Crime Scene - from APDThere was a shooting in the late evening hours of a cold December night in 2018. The Aurora, Colorado, police officers showed up soon afterwards. It was just outside of a Walgreens and they found a dead man in a red pickup. There were 26 shell casings just outside the truck's passenger door.

Over the next few days, officers interviewed several of the victim's friends. One man, Suspect A, claimed that he had been at a birthday party across town at the time of the shooting. Meanwhile, the shell casings were run through National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) and they were found to be a match to casings found at an earlier crime scene, a fight at a party in August 2018, where shots were fired into the door of the apartment. And guess who was alleged to be the individual who fired those shots? Suspect A. Additionally, cell phone geolocation data soon revealed that Suspect A had actually been in the area of the Walgreens on that December night at the time of the shooting, contrary to the claim he made to the police. So the next step the police took was to bring Suspect A in to interview him again. They also had a search warrant that allowed them to take a buccal swab so they could have his DNA for comparison.

In March the shell casings were submitted to a CSI at the Douglas County Sheriff's Office Crime Lab, who processed them using the Bardole Method in order to collect possible DNA samples. The filter membrane was returned to the APD and then submitted to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. A few months later the APD detectives received the results of the M-Vac® filter analysis back, which said, "The partial DNA profile developed from the M-Vac filter is at least 830,000 times more likely to be observed if it originated from [Suspect A] than if it originated from an unknown, unrelated individual [Strong support]." Four months later, Suspect A was formally charged with the murder at the Walgreens, and he later pled guilty to the charge and was sentenced to 20 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections.

Sources:

Aurora Police Department

Douglas County Sheriff's Office

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