Forensic Director Says Backpacks A Key Find - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Forensic Director Says Backpacks A Key Find

Right here in mid-Michigan we have our own forensic lab over at Michigan State University.

For years, students and faculty have discovered how to pick out DNA from explosions like this.

Our Nick Perreault spoke with the director who says a key piece of evidence could help solve who's responsible for the deadly blasts in Boston.

"What we do in our lab is work on techniques to develop this kind of evidence," said Forensic Director David Foran.

Forensic director David Foran's worked with Michigan State Universities forensic lab for 11 years and says after an explosion like Monday's, little details make all the difference.

"If you have someone's backpack, is it blown up outward or did something enter it from the outside."

Foran says there are two ways to collect evidence following a blast, through fingerprints and DNA.

And DNA may hold the key in this case, after the FBI found nylon bags or backpacks they believe the bombs were in.

"Someone had to hold the handle of the duffle bag walk down the street with it, set it down some place and that means that they left a lot of cells behind," Foran said.

And Foran says the type of explosion Monday could also lend clues to catch the person responsible.

"Everything indicates that the amount of flame, the amount of smoke and the fact that people smelled sulfur says gun powder."

Which Foran says increases the chance of keeping DNA samples together.

Such a large crowd in the area at the time of the blast poses a real challenge in sorting out forensic evidence, but Foran says the bag remnants are a big first step.

"There are finger print databases the FBI has, if this person is in the database based on fingerprints or DNA or something like that they'll figure out who it is really quickly," Foran said.

If it's not it will mean crews will have to continue to piece together whatever evidence they can.

"The work that we've done over the past several years and work that we will probably continue to do will hopefully make the FBI efforts just that more successful to figure out who did this," Foran said.

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