This paper discusses the three-dimensional (3D) impressions of shoe and tire track in forensic evidence. It looks into the value of footprint and tire track evidence, preservation and photographing of the evidence in addition to casting of the impressions.
Perpetrators of many crimes usually leave tire track or footwear impressions at the scene of crime. These impressions, if in dirt or mud, can be readily visible, but if on other surfaces, for instance footprints on linoleum, they may be undetectable by the naked eye (Levinson, p1444). Footwear, an example of primary evidence, is very important since on its own, it is potentially conclusive devoid of other strong evidence. There are at least three kinds of footwear evidence including footwear insole impressions, footwear outsole impressions, plus footwear trace evidence. Whenever something physically contacts another, it either takes a portion of the other or else, it leaves a portion of itself - a theory that Edmond Locard developed, and that crime scene investigators as well as physical evidence analysts use. They hold the assumption that since crime perpetrators must enter and exit the scene of crime, there may be traces of their footwear, or in case they used a vehicle, a track of its tire.
To avoid eyewitness recognition and leaving fingerprints, crime perpetrators normally wear masks over their faces along with gloves over their hands respectively. They however make little effort to cover up footwear and tires. Footwear evidence thus, when the investigator of a crime scene appropriately collects and preserves it, and then a footwear expert examines it keenly, becomes an important source of evidence in criminal investigation that helps in proving or disproving an individual’s presence at the scene of offense. Unfortunately, disruption or failing to secure the scene of a crime appropriately may result in the destruction or neglecting of this form of impression evidence.