What Is A Latent Print? – Essential Guide
Whenever we see movies or documentaries that show experts in solving crimes, investigators gather pieces of evidence to solve the crime. They gather pictures, witnesses, clues, murder weapons, and the latent print. We bet the last one isn’t that familiar to you that is why in this article, you will learn what is a latent print.
Latent Print Explained
If you are curious about what a latent print is, look at your skin. In the world of forensic science, latent prints are big clues to identify the culprit. These are the traces that were left on different surfaces like finger or palm prints. Since every person has a unique print, it would be very easy to identify an individual based on this. These prints are produced when the ridges in our skin makes a direct contact with an object or surface. Did you know that even identical twins have different fingerprints? That’s because as we grow inside the womb, the ridges in our fingers develop, too.
Types of Prints
Now that you already know what a latent print is, it’s time for you to learn the three types. Each type of print is produced in different processes and are helpful in solving a crime. To help you understand more about them and how they differ from another, we made a short comparison below.
- Patent fingerprints – this type of print can be seen easily by the naked eye. It can be produced when our hands are exposed to grease, ink, dirt, or blood. This is what we usually give on records or profiles.
- Latent fingerprints – we don’t need any artificial materials to produce this. When our skin sweats and produce oil, we can leave this type of print when we touch different surfaces or things. Most often we can see this after drinking in a bottle, glass, in spoons, glass, plate, and more.
- Plastic fingerprints- this type of print is produced when you touch or press onto something sticky like soap, wax, tar, or paint.
How Latent Prints are Collected
You might be wondering how people are identified based on latent prints. Well, aside from the knowledge of the investigators of what a latent print is and what is not, they use different techniques to acquire them. Here are the techniques and methods in taking latent prints below:
- Powder and brush technique – This makes the invisible prints visible.
- Tape Lifting – This is ideal for rough surfaces as well as smooth surfaces.
- Mikrosil or Gel-lifter – This is a silicone that is ideal for casting.
Cased Solved with Latent Prints
If you are an aspiring forensic investigator, you should know what latent prints are. These are very important clues in solving crimes and proving the guilty or innocent. And in this article, you don’t just learn what they are, you also learn how they are collected and how their differences are identified based on their type. Now that you are well aware of this, you can practice at home by looking at different things and surfaces.