# A Comparative Study: The Effectiveness of Various Search Strategies for Finding Critical Evidence in Crime Scene Analysis

## School Name

Spring Valley High School

Mathematics

Non-Mentored

## Abstract

In crime scene investigations, evidence is collected in hopes of establishing probable cause present in court. There are numerous strategies, but four well-known techniques are spiral, grid, parallel, and wheel (Lothridge, 2014). Many factors like room size, room shape, type of crime, time-sensitivity, available personnel, and more contribute to which search strategy is used. The question is which search strategy is the most effective; meaning it spends a minimal amount of time and collects the most evidence in a square room when compared to other strategies. The purpose of this project was to use mathematical modeling to outline and assess the effectiveness of grid, parallel, spiral, and wheel search strategies in a simple, square crime scene model. It was hypothesized that the parallel search method would be the most effective because it is a consistent repetition that is evenly spaced out. Formulas were created or derived to represent each of the search methods. They were then placed on a coordinate grid with four random points, known as critical points, and assessed for intersection. An intersection would indicate that the critical evidence was discovered by investigators. The hypothesis test results indicated there was sufficient evidence to reject the null hypothesis (��²(3, N=120) = 45.5, p<.05). This suggests there is not an equal distribution of critical evidence found when using different crime scene search strategies.

ECL 116

## Start Date

3-25-2023 11:00 AM

Oral and Written

## Group Project

No

COinS

Mar 25th, 11:00 AM

A Comparative Study: The Effectiveness of Various Search Strategies for Finding Critical Evidence in Crime Scene Analysis

ECL 116

In crime scene investigations, evidence is collected in hopes of establishing probable cause present in court. There are numerous strategies, but four well-known techniques are spiral, grid, parallel, and wheel (Lothridge, 2014). Many factors like room size, room shape, type of crime, time-sensitivity, available personnel, and more contribute to which search strategy is used. The question is which search strategy is the most effective; meaning it spends a minimal amount of time and collects the most evidence in a square room when compared to other strategies. The purpose of this project was to use mathematical modeling to outline and assess the effectiveness of grid, parallel, spiral, and wheel search strategies in a simple, square crime scene model. It was hypothesized that the parallel search method would be the most effective because it is a consistent repetition that is evenly spaced out. Formulas were created or derived to represent each of the search methods. They were then placed on a coordinate grid with four random points, known as critical points, and assessed for intersection. An intersection would indicate that the critical evidence was discovered by investigators. The hypothesis test results indicated there was sufficient evidence to reject the null hypothesis (��²(3, N=120) = 45.5, p<.05). This suggests there is not an equal distribution of critical evidence found when using different crime scene search strategies.