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Jacksonville FBI Office Demonstrates with its Crime-Solving Tools

9:25 AM, Jul 27, 2011   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Behind the reinforced fence of steel off Gate Parkway is a restricted area that is by far one of the most secure places in Jacksonville.

It is the Federal Bureau of Investigation, where 125 people work to protect you and solve crimes.

MORE: Inside the FBI: Still on the Lookout for Terrorists in Jacksonville

"Some of them never get solved. Some of them you think you know who did it, but it never gets solved," said Special Agent in Charge James Casey.

He said one of those puzzling unsolved cases is the disappearance of 5-year-old Haleigh Cummings in 2009. "We have no reason to believe that Haleigh was taken out of state," said Casey. Haleigh was never found.

He also said he doesn't know if she was taken outside of Putnam County where she was last seen. The FBI has spent countless hours and resources trying to find Haleigh. But more than two years after her disappearance, there is still no arrest. The FBI declined to say whether or not authorities have been close to an arrest.

"Somebody does know. The frustration is not being able to get that person or persons to say what happened, to tell somebody in law enforcement," said Casey.

The center of any FBI investigation, including Haleigh's, is in the FBI's operations room, which is manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

It's the place where field agents call with information and also  where more than 90 surveillance cameras are monitored to see who is in and around the building.

Down the hall is another room key in solving crimes. It's a classified environment where anyone from around the world can be brought in via video conferencing to discuss a case.

While the FBI has many gadgets to collect evidence, one of the most valuable is the ALS or alternate light source. "It can find body fluids, blood, semen, saliva," said agent Angela Hill.

The machine can be taken anywhere. The FBI has two of them.  To demonstrate, Hill placed it over a bag of wood chips and pig bone. The ALS picked up the fragments of bone.

The FBI's mobile evidence unit is ready to go at a moment's notice. The truck was used to collect evidence in the Somer Thompson murder investigation. In fact, her picture hangs on a wall right by the truck's parking place. 

The FBI also has a device which uses a mylar-type material and allows agents to pick up shoe prints or fingerprints. Hill said the device can pull shoe prints, even handprints off of carpet, fabric and hard surfaces.

But Casey said the FBI's most valuable tool is you. "You cannot overstate how important talking to people is," said Casey.

It's a tool used  in every single case, including the Jacksonville mosque bombing.

"People know what happened. People always know what happened leading up to a crime or event," said Casey.                                     











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