Footwear Impressions in Crime Scene Investigations _ Part 1 Excluding Suspects

July 21, 2023

The investigation of footwear impressions at the crime scene allows for the initial identification of suspects. By eliminating individuals without a motive, the suspect list can be narrowed down. This can be achieved by using footwear impressions to assist police officers in solving cases.

      In September 2014, the police department received a report of a theft in the male dormitory of a local university. A laptop was reported missing, and a scene survey was conducted. The dormitory management staff informed the police that laptops had been frequently lost recently, and the school suspected a gang of thieves. Through the examination and comparison of the footwear impressions recovered from the crime scene, six footwear impressions left by four male students in the dormitorywere identified, and no other footwear impressions were found. The doors and windows were intact, and the lock inspection revealed no signs of picking. The preliminary judgment was that this was an inside job. A detailed investigation of the other three people in the dorm was conducted, and it was discovered that Sun, who shared the dorm, was responsible for the theft. A few days before the incident, Sun's classmate's laptop was stolen, and on the day of the incident,Sun saw Zhang's laptop in the bedroom. Out of jealousy, Sun stole Zhang's laptop while the others were not paying attention. Faced with actual evidence,Sun admitted to the crime and returned the laptop.

In May 2015, the police station received a reportof a burglary in a high-rise residential building, where 50,000 Yuan in cash was stolen. The police were sent to conduct an investigation.

     By comparing the footwear impressions recovered from the crime scene, four footwear impressions were identified, belonging to husband and wife, their daughter, and son-in-law. Additionally, the doors and windows were found to be intact, and the door lock inspection did not reveal any signs of picking. A preliminary conclusion was made that the burglary was committed by a family member. After a detailed investigation, the son-in-law was identified as the suspect. Faced with concrete evidence, the husband admitted to committing the crime and returned the stolen 50,000 Yuan in cash.