Iowa Department of Public Safety Division of Criminal Investigation

DNA Casework Section

Latent Prints & Impression Identification


Questioned Documents


Trace Evidence


DPS Main Page

Iowa Death Investigator's Association

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Reflective Ultra Violet Imaging System (RUVIS)

The Latent Print and Impression Evidence section of the DCI Crime Laboratory examines submitted evidence for the presence of fingerprints, footwear/tires, and Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) entry.   The techniques used in the development of latent prints range from traditional fingerprint powdering techniques and superglue fuming, to advanced techniques such as fluorescent dye stains and alternate light sources. 

Gentian Violet Super Glue Chambers

Latent print examiners attempt to identify latent prints from crime scenes to individuals.  If they are not identified or there is no known suspect for the crime, then the identifiable latent prints are entered into AFIS, a state-wide database of finger and palm prints, and/or the FBI’s Next Generation Identification (NGI), a nation-wide database of finger and palm prints.

AFIS Comparison Screenshot

Footwear and Tire Track examinations (Impression Evidence) are also conducted at the laboratory, and are similar to Latent Print examinations, except the evidence are shoes and tires.  

Footwear impression in dust

The latent print section also works in conjunction with the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner to assist in identifying unknown decedents.

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