The Trace Evidence Section of the Mississippi Crime Laboratory (MCL) performs examinations on trace evidence and fire debris.
Trace evidence is usually in the form of small particles and includes such items as hair, paint, glass and fibers. Examinations for the presence of gunshot residue are performed on samples collected from suspect(s)’ hands. Although not considered as trace evidence by definition, the Trace Evidence Section does examine and analyze evidence such as footwear and tire track impressions and “fracture matches”. This section also performs examinations of automobile headlamps, tail lights and speedometers.
The Fire Debris Section of the MCL examines fire debris in suspected arson cases to identify and classify the accelerant used in the fire. Fire debris may consist of virtually any item suspected of bearing volatile and flammable materials. The Fire Debris Section of the MCL handled approximately 1% of the cases received by the Laboratory in FY 2000. These services are available only at the main laboratory in Jackson.