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Improved Area of Origin Estimation for Bloodstain Pattern Analysis Using 3D Scanning.

  • Esaias, Owen1
  • Noonan, Grant W1
  • Everist, Shane1
  • Roberts, Michell1
  • Thompson, Cassie1
  • Krosch, Matt N1
  • 1 Forensic Services Group, Queensland Police Service, 200 Roma Street, Brisbane, Qld, 4000, Australia. , (Australia)
Published Article
Journal of forensic sciences
Publication Date
Dec 03, 2019
DOI: 10.1111/1556-4029.14250
PMID: 31794077


An important component of crime scene reconstruction is bloodstain pattern analysis (BPA). Where BPA concerns impact patterns, estimating the area of origin is critical information for scene reconstruction. Traditionally, this is achieved by measuring individual bloodstains and performing trigonometric calculations; however, 3D scanning has been proposed as a viable alternative for overcoming logistical and practical concerns with the manual method. Therefore, this project aimed to establish whether the FARO Focus 3D scanner and FARO Zone 3D software can improve the accuracy of area of origin estimates relative to the manual method. We created a series of eight bloodstain impact patterns and performed paired analysis using the two methods to estimate areas of origin for each pattern. Our data suggested that FARO-derived estimates were generally more accurate than using the manual method. FARO-estimated heights of origin areas were generally closer to the true distance. Both methods underestimated the distance from the wall for most patterns originating 150mm or greater from the wall, but overestimated distances for patterns originating closer to the wall. The degree to which distances were underestimated increased significantly the further the blood source was from the wall and was greater for FARO-derived estimates. The results of this research contribute to the validation of these instruments for operational implementation for BPA and should be considered alongside the practical benefits of 3D scanning relative to manual methods. Further, 3D scanning can provide reliable BPA reconstruction documentation for technical review and court presentation. © 2019 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

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