Page last updated at 10:25 GMT, Monday, 8 December 2008

Scientist hailed in murder case

The technique can be used to find fingerprints on metal surfaces

A Northamptonshire Police forensic scientist has helped police in the US move a step closer to solving a murder.

Dr John Bond used a new technique to find fingerprints on bullet casings from a murder in Texas last year.

His method of "fingerprint visualising" detects where sweat has corroded metal on bullets, even where a print has been wiped off.

The technique, which could be used on bombs, was named by Time Magazine as one of the top 50 inventions of 2008.

Eliminate suspects

The casings involved in the Texas murder were brought to the UK by Detective Tony Roten from North Richland Hills Police.

He said: "There appears to be good fingerprints on one of the casings."

Dr Bond said: "This current case for Detective Roten would appear to be the best print we have so far been able to enhance.

"We are very pleased that we have been able to help Detective Roten with this inquiry."

Chris King, a detective from Kingsland Police Department, Georgia, also recently visited the force to see whether Dr Bond, a Leicester University research fellow, could help with a 10-year-old unsolved double homicide case.

The initial findings which identified a partial print have enabled US officers to eliminate suspects in the case.

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