Legal Foundation of Arson Investigations (4paragraphs in-cite reference)

Legal Foundation of Arson Investigations (4paragraphs in-cite reference)

You are the lead investigator for a suspicious fire in an abandoned tenement property at 123 Maple Street in a rundown area of the city. You are called by the

battalion chief and fire scene commander at the active fire. Upon your arrival, the chief explains that there are pour patterns clearly indicating that an accelerant

was used to start the fire on the first floor of the four-story tenement, and he has declared it arson. While you are talking to the chief, a line captain comes from

the fire and tells you that there are 2 dead bodies in the basement of the tenement. The battalion chief calls the fire over and safe, releasing the fire scene to you.

The state fire marshal has also called and advised that because of manpower shortages, your agency has lead. You have two investigators with you who immediately ask,

“Where do we start?” You must now give them the proper legal guidance to avoid any evidentiary pitfalls.

Arson fires and, in particular, arson homicides allow for a warrantless crime scene search in most jurisdictions, but it is your experience that a warrant is

always better. Instruct your personnel in what the appropriate initiation of the investigation should be.
To avoid issues with evidence collection, what do you think should be done about the scene? Explain.
Who should be brought in immediately? Why?
Where should you look for the owner of the property? Why?

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