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German-Canadian Technology Helps Solve Murder
NanoFocus sensors provide unequivocal forensic evidence
Forensic Technology and NanoFocus AG are proud to be associated with this year’s winners of the prestigious 2009 August Vollmer Excellence in Forensic Science Award. Presented during the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) conference last week in Denver, Colorado, the August Vollmer Award recognizes the innovative use of forensic technology by law enforcement.
Rocky Edwards and Louis Martinez of the Santa Ana Police Department won the award for Innovation in forensic technology. Their diligent work on a cold case dating from 1994 relied heavily on Forensic Technology’s BULLETTRAX-3D system, a new ballistics imaging technology that uses a state-of-the-art 3D optical sensor made by NanoFocus, Germany.
For over 13 years, Californian detectives were unable to match the suspected murder weapon to the fatal bullet. While researching cold cases, Detective Martinez saw a small undamaged area of the gun barrel. He asked his forensic partner, Firearms Examiner Rocky Edwards if he knew of a method to extract information in order to link the gun to the bullet that killed Philip Cousins.
Edwards travelled to Forensic Technology headquarters in Montreal, Canada, and, using the BULLETTRAX-3D system equipped with the powerful NanoFocus µsurf sensor, imaged the autopsy bullet to the nanometer level.
Once back in Santa Ana, armed with the ultra high-resolution images, Edwards was able to confirm the link and identify Cousins’s murderer. When presented with the evidence, the accused pleaded guilty and is currently serving 35 years for murder.
“Our technology has been used to help solve crimes in nearly 50 countries since 1992. To see our new IBIS TRAX-3D system play such a significant a role in this cold case reinforces our core belief that our systems can truly help make our society a safer place,” said Robert Walsh, President of Forensic Technology.
“NanoFocus sensors are ideally suited to the automotive, electronics, medical, and – as exemplary shown in this case – forensic industry. To know that our technology helped to solve a,” commented Dr. Hans Hermann Schreier, CEO of NanoFocus AG.