You are the lead investigator who is called
to the scene of a potential crime. The victim was found by a bystander
at the bottom of a cliff. It appears that she was hiking and fell. There
are multiple abrasions all over her body. The body has no
identification, and you have no reports of missing persons regarding
anyone matching her description.
Consider the first three steps of the Criminal Justice Decision Making Model:
Step One: Define the problem (and the questions that
need to be answered): From your reading, pay specific attention to the
sections on Challenges in Investigation, Equivocal Death, Suicide,
Preliminary Investigation of Homicide, the Homicide Victim, and
Estimating the Time of Death. Describe the steps you would take in
determining (1) whether this was an accident, suicide, or potential
homicide; (2) techniques that could be used to determine time of death;
and (3) ways that you might identify the victim.
Step Two: Gather evidence (law, policy, procedure,
data) and evaluate for relevancy: Find information on additional
forensic techniques that might help in your investigation. What evidence
might help you ascertain whether or not an additional person was on the
scene? How might that influence your findings?
Step Three: Weigh moral considerations and
direct/indirect consequences: What would be the next steps that you
might take in this investigation? If you were to identify the victim and
find that she was in a relationship with reported accounts of domestic
violence, how might this influence your investigation?
Following Steps 4 and 5 of the Criminal Justice Decision Making
Model, write a 1.5 -page essay in which you discuss the steps you would
take in this investigation. As you write your essay, focus on using
effective descriptions to communicate your points. This should include
the use of vivid language, creating an experience for your audience, and
showing rather than telling what the processes are. Use source material
with APA citations to support your points as necessary.
Step Four: Write your proposal, utilizing the above material.
Step Five: Balance your position by addressing alternatives and potential pitfalls.