2009.07.27 Today's Current News - ***NO DISCUSSIONS HERE PLEASE ***

SPECIAL REPORT: Inside the crime lab
Monday, July 27, 2009
Evidence in the Nevaeh Buchanan murder case is being tested inside a Michigan crime lab. Tonight, 13abc's Alexis Means gives us a rare look inside.

Scientists wouldn't talk about the Nevaeh case, but showed us tools they're using to solve her case and thousands of other crimes.

Forensic scientists spend hours trying to solve major crimes. In the trace evidence lab, Cherly Lozen demonstrates how items like tire tracks and glass can create possble leads in a case. "Usually it's just a residue from the shoe that's left on the glass. And to enhance that we use something like a black fingerprint powder and just lightly dust it, and you can see the the tread design of the shoe matches up."

She uses a special light and goggles to look for fibers. "If you look through the goggles, you'll be able to see some of the fibers fluorescing bright orange." The fibers can be chemically analyzed through a powerful microscope.

They can digitally enhance prints and import them into a database containing nearly three million fingerprints.

DNA evidence has helped to solve cold cases. The DNA lab's Danielle Hankinson says, "Basically we're looking for biological fluids or biological material that will contain DNA."

VIDEO: Scientist Showed Us Tools They're Using To Solve Crimes