Forensic Identification of Blood in the Presence of Contaminations Using Raman Microspectroscopy Coupled with Advanced Statistics: Effect of Sand, Dust, and Soil*

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Body fluid traces recovered at crime scenes are among the most common and important types of forensic evidence. However, the ability to characterize a biological stain at a crime scene nondestructively has not yet been demonstrated. Here, we expand the Raman spectroscopic approach for the identification of dry traces of pure body fluids to address the problem of heterogeneous contamination, which can impair the performance of conventional methods. The concept of multidimensional Raman signatures was utilized for the identification of blood in dry traces contaminated with sand, dust, and soil. Multiple Raman spectra were acquired from the samples via automatic scanning, and the contribution of blood was evaluated through the fitting quality using spectroscopic signature components. The spatial mapping technique allowed for detection of “hot spots” dominated by blood contribution. The proposed method has great potential for blood identification in highly contaminated samples.

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