FINDAR – GPR to detect buried forensic evidence
FINDAR – GPR to detect buried forensic evidence
Year: June 2012
Place: Oklahoma, USA
Samantha Weaver, a mother of two children, goes missing.
After three years of intense investigation, police zero-in on a particular property outside Shawnee, Oklahoma. They need to examine closely the backyard of this property. Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) decides to use FINDAR, a Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) system, to quickly survey the backyard and identify areas of interest. Based on the GPR results, they discover a decomposed body under plywood and three-feet of soil.
Year: Early 1968
Place: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
Two teenagers go missing following a walk to a corner store.
46 years later, a relative comes across a report about two unidentified bodies of teenage girls, suspected to be related and murdered at the same time in 1968, buried in Cumru Township in Philadelphia. The relative offers police DNA samples to investigate the identity of the bodies.
Police had old maps roughly indicating the location of the unmarked graves but they are hesitant to use heavy machinery as that will result infurther desecration of the bodies. Police decided to use FINDAR GPR to quickly and accurately locate the graves. In October 2013, the bodies are exhumed. DNA tests confirm that the remains are of the missing teens. And with this, a four-decade long case is solved.
Things common in both these cases:
- Crime (Murder)
- Investigating Agencies
- Undiscovered dead body
- Results – Body discovered, case solved
Is a Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) system which is aiding law enforcement agencies worldwide in quickly detecting buried forensic evidence. Its ease of use and ability to locate evidence in real-time makes it a popular choice among police forces in several parts of the USA, Canada and Europe.
How does it work?
All that a user is supposed to do is identify the area which needs to be examined. FINDAR is then navigated in this specified area to quickly image the subsurface through its GPR technology.The radar comes with an intuitive user interface which guides investigators through a systematic grid search. Its ability to generate 3D images on-site within seconds, and detect the position and depth of the potential evidence makes it a very useful tool for investigating agencies.It is, however, important to note that GPR does not show the outline of a body (potential evidence). Instead, it depicts anomalies in the subsurface or areas of disturbed soil.Based on thereal-time images, investigators are able to decide whether to opt for excavation or not.
The product comes with the following features:
- GPR Sensor – Its high resolution, ultra-wideband, patented GPR technology provides exceptional data quality and can operate smoothly in extreme temperatures from-400C to +500C
- In-field Survey Results – View results in real-time while on-site, and pinpoint potential evidence quickly
- Wi-Fi Reports – Screenshot reports can be emailed directly from the investigation site
- USB Data Transfer – Data can be easily copied to a USB for reporting and archiving
- Rugged Touchscreen Display Unit – Since the screen is weather-proof, data can easily be viewed even during bad weather
- Internal GPS – The screenshots can be geotagged for future reference.
- Optional External GPS – This can be added if the requirement involves ‘high accuracy positioning and mapping’
- Rechargeable Battery – Battery lasts between 4-6 hours without charging
- Odometer – Allows automatic data collection at regular distance intervals
- Ultra-light Cart – This makes the product easy to navigate survey sites, transport and deploy
Advantages of FINDAR:
- It is convenient and easy-to-use with minimal training
- It provides results in real-time
- It can locate buried evidence on different types of terrains.
- Generate 3D depth slice images on-site within seconds
- Identify the position and depth of potential evidence
- Compact and portable system which fits into a single case.
- Easily transfer data or images to a PC
- Integrate images into reports
- Archive data and screenshots for future reference
The FINDAR Advantage:
While other commonly-used subsurface search technologies can detect only metal objects, FINDAR is capable of detecting both metallic and non-metallic objects.
It can be used to locate:
- Clandestine graves
- Money or drugs buried in plastic or metal containers
- Buried weapons and ammunition stashes
Who all can use it in INDIA?
FINDAR has been specifically designed to meet the needs of law enforcement agencies.The challenges before these agencies in India are numerous, ranging from solving the murder cases to stopping illegal smuggling of drugs or weapons at border areas, or safeguarding themselves from IEDs in counter-insurgency operations/ areas. Some of the agencies involved in the above activities are:
- Police –It can be very helpful in criminal investigations.
- Central Armed Police Forces –
- Border Security Force (BSF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) – These are some prominent border guarding forces of India.
- Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) – Actively involved with counter-insurgency operations in the country.
- Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) – Guarding sensitive infrastructure of the country like Parliament house, Delhi Metro, airports etc
- National Security Guard (NSG) – Elite counter-terrorism force of the country
- Indian Army – Aiding in counter-insurgency operations