It is always interesting to see a case come back into the news for which our team at Bio SoCal completed the biohazard cleanup. For the news photo, New Channel 3 chose an image our Bio SoCal technicians cleaning up the blood patterns later discussed in the trial.
Quadruple murder in Palm Springs
Nearly four years ago, four people were found shot and killed in Palm Springs. Three were found inside a crashed car at Sunny Dunes and El Placer roads and the fourth was discovered lying in a street a few blocks away. When police arrived at the scene, they discovered a man hiding under a truck covered in blood and appearing intoxicated. Though first responders took him to the hospital for treatment, he was later recorded running away from the medical facility later in the night. He then prepared to flee the state via a bus to Florida after changing his appearance. Police arrested him at the bus stop and charged him with all four counts of murder. If convicted, the suspect could face the death penalty.
The second trial is in progress
The first trial in 2022 ended in a hung jury. The new trial began last fall and is still continuing. The prosecution brought in blood stain expert Craig Ogino to determine whether the suspect was in the backseat of the vehicle at the time of the shootings. Specializing in high-energy blood splatter such as from a gunshot wound, Ogino used scientific methods and a blood-splattered coat found with the suspect to recreate the point of origin for each bullet fired. The outcome of this second trial is still unknown.
Blood stains tell a story
Whenever crimes are committed and blood is involved, investigators take special care to note exactly where blood is found. The location, amount of blood, the distance from a victim, and the shape of a blood splatter can all be later used to discern what happened and who is responsible for the crime. This science is called “bloodstain pattern analysis” and is often used in trials to convict or exonerate suspects. For example, if the direction of a gunshot wound is found to be from a different location than where the suspect was located, then it brings into serious question whether the suspect could have done it. In this situation, the blood stain expert said that based on the gunshot wounds, blood splatter, and the blood on the coat found with the suspect, that the suspect was in the backseat, the same place from which the gun was fired, and that no one else was there.
Bio SoCal only cleans after a scene is released
Because blood and other fluid stains can be critical to convicting the person who committed the crime, It is vital to the case that our work cleaning up all the biohazards begins only after investigators clear the scene and get the pictures, measurements, and data needed to later examine.
We understand that when a crime is convicted on your property, you want it cleaned up as soon as possible so you can move forward with taking care of your business and loved ones. However, because of the importance of any relevant evidence, investigators must first have all the time they need to gather information to later use in discerning what occurred. As soon as they are done, though, and have released the scene back to the property owner, we will be there to make sure all hazardous materials, including investigative chemicals, have been fully removed and the area truly clean. Once we are done, you can be confident safety has been restored and you are free to move about your property.
At Bio SoCal, we hope whoever brought these lives to an early end is convicted and that the victims’ families can know that, even though their loved ones are gone, justice will be served.