Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Case of the Bloody Garbage Truck

by team UAB, lsw

A brief, but interesting article from Australia:

Police scientists were called in to test a large amount of blood which collected in the back of a garbage truck at Camperdown in Sydney's inner-west on Tuesday morning.

Initial tests on the blood were inconclusive, but tests eventually confirmed it was not human.

Garbage collectors had noticed the blood oozing out the back of their truck about 7am (AEST) and raised the alarm.

It's good to know that people are willing to get involved, and call the authorities, when they see something suspicious. At the same time, it also demonstrates the importance of presumptive and confirmatory tests. Something may look like blood, and may even be blood, but it may not be human blood. So where did this (non-human) blood come from? The police couldn't find any answers:

In full view of curious local residents, forensic officers spent several hours searching the truck's smelly contents for clues to the source of the blood, but found nothing.

NOTE: The above image is from a Google Images search, and is unrelated to the case.


CSI Seattle said...

If it had been human blood, the truck would have been a difficult crime scene to work. With all the garbage in the truck, it would be difficult to identify what exactly was evidence.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that they didn't find anything! If it was indeed human blood than they would have had to continue their search! 1/22/08 BAS

Forensic Bloggers said...

i wonder how much a "large amount" is? It reads as though the blood must not have come from an animal, otherwise the carcass would have been in the truck. So someone just threw out a big bag of blood? The fact they don't name the species suggests they may have just done and antibody/antigen test (as we covered in class). A simple DNA test would clear up what species it was fairly easily. I suppose since it wasn't human, they didn't want to invest in this additional step.

-dr. l

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