CJ2570: Week 2 Physical Evidence and Processing The Scene Analysis
2.1/Processing the Scene 1 Review the case below and then complete the tasks that follow: Danielle Van Dam Case Study: On the evening of Friday, February 1, 2002, Brenda Van Dam had a girls’ night out with friends in the San Diego suburb of Sabre Springs. Brenda’s husband, Damon, remained at home to care for their 7-year old daughter, Danielle, and her two brothers. Damon sent the children to bed at approximately 10:00 PM and then fell asleep. Brenda returned home at around 2:00 AM with four of her friends. Damon woke up to socialize with Brenda and her friends. Around 3:00 AM, the friends left and the Van Dams went to sleep, believing that their daughter was sleeping safely in her room. The next morning, Danielle was missing. The Van Dams called the police at 9:39 AM. The police interviewed neighbors and forensic technicians collected evidence from the Van Dam home. Police soon discovered that a neighbor, David Alan Westerfield, was not at home the Saturday morning of Danielle’s disappearance. Westerfield was placed under 24-hour surveillance on February 4, after police became suspicious when he was observed cleaning his RV. Westerfield claimed he had been driving through the desert, beach, and mountains in his RV. During questioning, Westerfield appeared nervous, citing 13 different destinations for his weekend RV trip. Detectives also observed small cuts on Westerfield’s hands. Search warrants were obtained for his home and RV. In Westerfield’s home computer files, police discovered pornographic images of young girls. In his RV, police located blood, hair, and a fingerprint matching Danielle’s. (It was later discovered that days after Danielle disappeared, a haggard and barefoot Westerfield stopped at a dry cleaning store to drop off two comforters, two pillow covers and a jacket with stains that would later yield Danielle’s blood.) On February 22, police arrested Westerfield for Danielle’s kidnapping. On February 27, Danielle’s decomposed naked body was discovered under a cluster of oak trees near a busy road east of San Diego. Murder charges were subsequently filed. Westerfield was found guilty and sentenced to death.
You should also research this case in the ITT Tech Virtual library and Internet sources for additional information. Write an analysis of this case using the following prompts: On the basis of the facts provided, identify the crime scene(s) involved. Outline the steps a forensic technician should take to process the scene. Submission Requirements: Report your findings in a Word document of approximately five pages. (APA format and references.)