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Crime Lab Gets International Attention

HAMILTON COUNTY, Ohio (Deb Dixon) -- What happens in Hamilton County's crime lab is changing the way crimes are solved all over the world.

Mike Trimpe runs the lab and is one of the most highly sought after scientists when it comes to cracking a case.  He is the only American who has asked to take part in the International Forensic Conference recently held in Germany.

Work Trimpe is doing now will make an even bigger difference.

Ate the Hamilton County Sheriff's target range the targets are unusual.  They are pieces of synthetic material being shot at different distances. 

Dr. Lakshimi Sammarco, Hamilton County Coroner, said, "This research is important because it studies what they look like at different distances in different cloths."

Mike Trimpe said, "We want to see if the bullet hole melts the fibers on the fabric."

If gun shot residue is left on those fibers.  GSR is particles left in the vicinity after a gun is fired.  Especially on the shooter's hand.  It's CSI Trimpe's ability to find and analyze them that brings international attention to the county crime lab.

Looking at the bullet hole in the fabric magnified 180 times is nothing for the electron microscope.  It can magnify particles up to 200,000 times and tell its composition.

"Police officers tells us a suspect has a bullet hole.  Two people were shooting back and forth.  He tells us he wasn't involved that he just tore the jacket on a fence, we want to know if the hole is from the bullet or not."

The research done here in Hamilton County will help them tell.  The research cannot tell police who shot the gun.  But according to other research done, gunshot residue is not something most people walking around town have on them. 

So someone with gunshot residue on them may have some explaining to do.

The lab used to only accept cases within a hundred mile radius.  Doctor Sammarco lifted that ban which is why cases now come in from all over the country. 

Watch video here




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