Fairfax County police can potentially identify murder suspects much quicker with a new mobile forensics lab.
Maj. Christian Quinn said the idea to build the mobile lab started at a crime scene in 2017.
A Fairfax teenager was found dead in Nokesville, and detectives were working the scene in the middle of a muddy soybean field in the blazing heat. Carrying evidence out of the field could have potentially damaged evidence, so detectives wanted to find a way to bring the lab to the evidence.
Detective William Szuminski said they started with just the chassis of a vehicle and, piece-by-piece, they installed equipment that would help them uncover details of a crime.
The vehicle includes a super glue chamber where detectives put evidence. Glue fumes adhere to an object to lock fingerprints in place.
Chemicals are used to make the print visible. Then it’s taken to a photography station to be scanned and run through a database.
Szuminski said they could identify a suspect hours or even days quicker than they normally would have with this vehicle.
Fairfax County police said the vehicle was paid for with money it already had and forensics equipment was paid for with seized property funds. No additional taxpayer money was used.