Technology helps examiners at BCI link firearms to crimes

Crime

LONDON, OH (WOWK)—When it comes to solving crimes, being able to make the most of the evidence left behind at the scene is vital. At the Bureau of Criminal Investigations lab in Ohio, scientists process evidence from law enforcement agencies throughout the state.

“Whenever I got into it I didn’t really know much about the forensic aspect of it,” said Matthew White, a firearm examiner at BCI. White has ties to West Virginia. He said he got his start as an intern at the West Virginia State Police forensic lab. “I’m originally from West Virginia so I guess my hobby growing up I enjoyed firearms recreationally,” he said.

Now he handles crucial evidence using science and technology to look for clues.

Comparison microscope allows team to view test versus evidence.

“Sometimes evidence can be submitted and there is no firearm so I could look at the fired cartridge cases and then maybe I could determine the type of firearm they may be looking for,” he explained.

The unit handles several high-profile cases annually. They look for links between bullets and cartridges and individual firearms. He uses what is called a comparison microscope, an instrument allowing him to compare two pieces of evidence side-by-side and magnified.

“You’ll have the test one on one side and evidence on the other,” he explained. “I am going to look at various unique characteristics that were imparted to that fired cartridge case as a result of the firing process.”

The work helps give investigators the details they need to put people who violate the law behind bars and keep the community safe.

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