ABSTRACT

In routine forensic casework the soil examiner is often required to make a comparison between a sample of questioned soil present on an item of investigative interest and one or more soil samples collected from a known source. In the author's opinion, the term control sample, in the context of forensic geological work, should be restricted to samples of soil, sediment, or rock that are collected from known geographical locations at a known time and date. In the case of a murder scene or body deposition site, control soil sampling should normally be carried out after removal of the body and before serious disturbance of the site which may involve cutting down of the vegetation, finger-tip searches, and possibly digging by police search and forensic teams.