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Generally, what is the best method for developing/preserving prints at a crime scene?

Many methods are valid for developing and preserving prints.  Generally, at a crime scene, the preferred method for developing latent prints is the use of black powder.  Latent prints developed with black powder can be lifted with fingerprint lifting tape and placed on a white background (i.e. white index cards or white paper). Good photography techniques can also be used to preserve developed latent prints.  The use of colored or fluorescent powders for latent print development is not recommended.  The use of hinge lifters for lifting developed latent prints is not recommended.   

The OSBI Latent Evidence Unit has more specialized methods for developing latent prints in the laboratory.  It is recommended that items that can be collected at a crime scene be submitted to the laboratory for latent print processing. If you have questions about the best way to proceed, please contact an OSBI latent print analyst for suggestions or guidance at 405-330-6724.