Page last updated at 14:19 GMT, Saturday, 17 January 2009

Technique to help solve US murder

Fingerprint
The technique can be used to find fingerprints on metal surfaces

A Northamptonshire Police forensic scientist is hoping his new fingerprinting technique can solve another unsolved murder in the US.

Dr John Bond has been enlisted by police in Bristol, Connecticut, to solve a decade-old murder case.

His technique detects where sweat has corroded metal on bullets, even where a fingerprint has been wiped off.

Later this month Det Garrie Dorman will fly to Northampton with bullet casings from the murder of Louis LaFontaine.

Mr LaFontaine was found shot dead at his home in Bristol on 10 February, 1998.

Det Dorman said the victim, who owned an appliance repair shop, was "well known throughout the city of Bristol, and his murder shocked the community and devastated his friends and family".

'Tremendous advancement'

He said: "The Bristol police have conducted an extensive investigation into the murder of Mr LaFontaine, but despite interviewing countless individuals, analysing forensic evidence and executing a number of search warrants, the murder remains unsolved.

"Despite this, the murder is still being actively investigated by Bristol police detectives and the state's attorney's office.

"Dr Bond's procedure is a tremendous advancement in forensic science, and has the potential to be a valuable tool in many criminal investigations.

"Fingerprint evidence on a shell casing would certainly bring us much closer to identifying Mr LaFontaine's killer."

Dr Bond's technique was hailed by Time Magazine as one of the top 50 inventions of 2008.

It has already been used in several "cold cases" across the world.

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SEE ALSO
Scientist hailed in murder case
08 Dec 08 |  Northamptonshire
Fingerprint expert heads for USA
29 Nov 08 |  Northamptonshire
Forensic work named top invention
10 Nov 08 |  Northamptonshire
Advance in bomb print techniques
05 Aug 08 |  England
Fingerprint method breakthrough
19 May 08 |  England

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