Vegetative Matter as Trace Evidence

Created by Avery McAnelly, Michelle


Cannabis (Marijuana Plant)

Physical:The stalk of the marijuana plant, primarily of the cannabis sativa variety - which can grow as high as 20 feet in height

Chemical:The plant's cannabinoids are largely responsible for cannabis' physiological, mood-altering, and therapeutic effects. THC, the most studied of all the plant's cannabinoids, is psychoactive and is primarily responsible for the plant's influence on Cannabis (Marijuana Plant)

DNA Analysis-DNA Extraction and Comparison

Forensic Analysis-Macroscopic analysis, inititated through a confirmation of the plants identity.

As trace Evidence: Marijuana, like all plants, needs sunlight, water, and food in order to grow. A particular trait about Marijuana is that it gives off a lot of pollen, and pollen can be collected by Forensic investigators and processed by botanists to determine its origin. CSI teams will determine that the presence of marijuana pollen means that the plant was present in the building and/or was being grown in a garden.

Banna Peel

Chemical: A banana peel is primarily made of potassium and manganese. Other minerals present are sodium, calcium, and iron.

Physical: Yellow outer skin

Forensic Analyst:

DNA Analyst= DNA extraction and comparison

Latent Print Examiners= Alternate Light Source (ALS)

Case Study: Willie Grimes, in 1988, was charged with the rape of a 69 year old women. He was sentenced to a life in prison, and to this day he still maintains his innocence. In 2012, with the help of the Inoccence Inquiry Commision, a banan peel from the crime scene was finger printed. The victim stated that her attacker grabbed the fruit, and the finger prints on the fruit did not belong to Grimes. The prints belonged to Albert Turner. Turner has a long criminal history. Grimes could very well be exonerated by the North Carolina courts.

Cypresses Glabra

Cupressus glabra (rare cypress) seed

Case study:Graeme Thorne was kidnapped on. July 7, 1960. On August 16th, his body was found wrapped in carpet in a parking lot in Granview grove, Seaforth Sydney. A rare type of cypress seed found on the remains told the investigators that the body had been moved from the original place of murder. A cypress tree found in a garden of a house that matched the rare seeds sending them to Stephen Bradley, who was convicted November 18, 1960.

Forensic analyst: Forensic Botanist.

Chemical properties: oils can be extracted from its cones, pines, and bark.

Physical properties: densely covered in blue/grey leaves, reaching 50 to 70 feet.