Stories and news
Homicide Case Solved
A Kent woman was found murdered in her home. An examiner recovered prints from a dresser believed to contain the victim's prescription medication and money. A search of these prints allowed the examiner to provide the detective with a new name for the investigation. The suspect was arrested, confessed to the crime, and provided the names of two other suspects. He was charged with Murder First Degree.
Examiner Helps Medical Examiner Identify Intruder
A North Bend family's home was invaded by the same robber two days in a row. During the second event, the suspect was fatally stabbed. His identity was unknown until the King County Medical Examiner's Office sent his fingerprints to an AFIS examiner, who found a match. The man's fingerprints had been entered into the King County AFIS database when he was arrested in 2012 on two counts of Theft Third Degree.
Mobile ID Success
After receiving a tip, Burien deputies made a traffic stop and used a Mobile ID device to determine the subject was lying about his identity. The subject was one of Washington's Most Wanted fugitives and had numerous felony warrants. He was a violent offender wanted by the Department of Corrections in King County after a 2011 conviction for punching his girlfriend in the face.
New Palmprint AFIS Identifies Rapist
Examiners responded to a rape callout of a 12-year old girl in her Shoreline home. At the scene, an examiner lifted a palmprint from a glass-topped dresser in the girl’s bedroom. With the new AFIS, palmprints can now be electronically searched and matched. The examiner used this new technology to identify a suspect and notified the detective. The King County Sheriff’s Office and Shoreline Police Department quickly arrested the suspect within a few days of the crime. He was charged with Rape First Degree and Burglary First Degree with Sexual Motivation.
Arrest in 30-Year Old Cold Case Homicide
In 1978, an 80-year-old widow was found dead in her Seattle trailer, which was ransacked. The case was never solved. In 2010, Sheriff’s Office cold case detectives re-examined the case. Advances in technology now allow prints to be searched through AFIS that previously had not met the criteria for quality. AFIS examiners matched latent fingerprints on items from the crime scene to an individual who lived near the victim at the time of the crime. In September 2011, detectives arrested the individual in Reno, where he resided.
Suspects Arrested after Brutal Assault
In December, a 55-year old Shoreline man heard someone trying to steal his vehicle so he went to investigate wearing slippers and a custom-made, green bathrobe. Shortly after, a neighbor saw the man crawling, bloody and naked. The man was unable to tell deputies what happened due to his extensive injuries. Fingerprints were found on the victim’s vehicle and a Latent Print Examiner individualized the prints to two suspects, who were both apprehended. Detectives later learned that one of the suspects gave his mother the victim’s bathrobe for a Christmas present.
Sex Offender Convicted
As part of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a Tenprint Examiner assisted the case agent with linking an offender’s identity to a California rapsheet. Review of the criminal history and fingerprint records revealed an extensive criminal arrest and conviction record dating back to the 1970’s. The Tenprint Examiner’s assistance on the case contributed to the sentencing decision for this Washington State sex offender, who received 14 years in federal prison and a lifetime of supervised release for Possession of Child Pornography.
River Rat Bandit Apprehended
The River Rat Bandit earned his nickname from the series of robberies that occurred on both sides of the Columbia River. He was believed to be responsible for at least 18 armed robberies from late July until early October 2009, between Portland, Oregon and Kent, Washington. Two of the robberies and one attempted robbery occurred in Puyallup. The suspect is believed to have netted close to $100,000 in cash during these robberies.
The AFIS Program received a robbery case from the Kent Police Department, which included a print that had been collected by a Kent Police Officer. When the examiner ran the print against the AFIS database, it hit upon an excellent set of fingerprints taken in 2007 by an AFIS Program Identification Technician. The Latent Print Examiner made the identification, had a colleague verify it and then notified the Kent Police Department. This hit led to a multi-agency investigation that resulted in the apprehension of the River Rat Bandit.
Murder-for-Hire Plot Solved
This case started with a callout for a carjacking/homicide. Latent Print Examiners processed the vehicle and a gun box that was later determined to be the box of the murder weapon. They recovered the only print identified to the suspect from the support bar in the trunk. An examiner identified prints of both the mother and the son on the gun box and the prints of the son and the alleged shooter on the inside of the trunk.
The mother pleaded guilty after the gun was found and a witness had come forward. The son was found guilty and sentenced to 25 years. In the son’s trial, the actual vehicle was brought into the courtroom and the examiner crawled into the trunk to show just how far in the trunk the alleged shooter’s print was discovered. The alleged shooter pleaded guilty as charged to Murder First Degree with a firearm and was sentenced to 25 years.
A King County man had his ID stolen, and later the thief used his name when he was arrested and booked into jail in California. Months later the innocent victim was pulled over for a routine traffic stop and arrested because a warrant had been issued under his name for the thief’s crime. AFIS did a check of the victim’s fingerprints with the booking record in California and determined they were not the same person. The victim was immediately released.
Challenging Identification of Deceased
In July, a badly decomposed body was found at a SeaTac apartment complex. Latent Print Examiners assisted the King County Medical Examiner in recovering prints. An identification was made and verified to a woman from Utah. Had it not been for the fingerprint identification, the woman may not have been identified for some time since she was from out of the area. Although greatly saddened, her family was comforted by finally knowing what happened to their missing loved one.
Quick Work Saves Mariners Memorabilia
An SPD Latent Print Examiner assisted in a burglary investigation at Safeco Field. A person broke into display cases, stealing rare Seattle Mariners memorabilia. The examiner processed items from the scene and identified an individual. In less than 12 hours the memorabilia was recovered and the suspect was arrested, keeping part of Seattle’s sports history from being lost forever.
King County Council recognizes county’s Automated Fingerprint Information System (AFIS)
Council sends Levy for Automated Fingerprint Identification System to Ballot
King County Expands Use of High-tech Fingerprinting Tool
Executive Constantine Thanks Voters for Renewing Automated Fingerprint Identification System Levy
Council Sends Levy for Automated Fingerprint Identification System to November Ballot
County Council Recognizes Accreditation of Fingerprint Lab
Countywide Officials Back Renewal of Levy for Crime-fighting AFIS