Saturday, June 04, 2011

FBI Testifies About Hair From Caylee's Decomposing Body

Jose Baez Fails To Discredit FBI Expert

At the Saturday morning trial of Casey Anthony, an FBI expert was brought before the jury to testify for the prosecution about hair samples. Defense attorney Jose Baez tried his best to prevent the testimony, objecting to the expert's claims of scientific relevance of the hair samples to be presented, but was overruled.

Judge Belvin Perry overruled the objections, much as he has done for most of Baez's objections to prosecution witnesses and exhibits.

Karen Korsberg Lowe, an FBI hair and fabric examiner testified about microscopic examination of hair samples found in Casey Anthony's car trunk. The testimony produced evidence showing decomposition of humans could be found from hair root samples taken from deceased individuals, and that a sample she examined showing apparent decomposition was similar to 2-year old Caylee Anthony's hair.

Lowe testified that the banding on hair can occur as soon as eight hours after death, leading to the inference that Caylee Anthony's hair was left in the Casey Anthony car at least eight hours after her death, assuming the hair with root banding was that of Caylee.

Lowe has a Master's degree and a decade of experience working at the FBI.

The "Smoking Gun?" - A Nine-Inch Hair

Lowe found at least eleven human hairs in the samples provided to her.  She said she found one nine-inch long hair showing human hair banding at the root when viewed under a microscope, showing consistency with apparent human decomposition. Comparing the hair sample to a sample from Casey, and another from Caylee's hair brush, the sample was identified as similar to Caylee's hair.

Microscopic analysis shows hair root "banding" indicates a hair has been taken from a decomposing body, according to Lowe. Lowe showed enlarged photo exhibits to the jury to demonstrate the hair banding effect in post-mortem changes. The FBI has been examining hair samples since the 1930s said Lowe.

Attorney Baez asked Lowe about a report commissioned by Congress on hair analysis in an attempt to provide doubt in the jurors' mind about the relevancy of the state's hair evidence, but as it turned out in further questioning, Lowe agreed with the report's finding that hair cannot definitely identify a person, unless DNA analysis is also done.

Baez in cross-examination made much of the fact that only one hair was found that was identified as similar to Caylee's hair. The sample, however was the only one with root banding on it, indicating it was apparently from a deceased human.

The trial is now in the scientific evidence stage, whereby forensic experts are brought before the jury by the prosecution to testify to the various physical samples collected by the Orange County Sheriff's department in it's investigation of the Caylee Anthony murder in July 2008.

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