Rural Investigations

Murder in Sweden - GPR Guides Evidence Search

Investigators received an accurate indication
of the location of the body

It all started with a seemingly disturbed youth. At the age of 25 the young man started to have disagreements with a senior member of his family. As is all too common the dissension focused around money.

An acquaintance of the family was quoted as saying, “There are many millions to fight about.” Hatred began to develop and the young man was labeled as an outcast by members of the community. The senior family member was 63 at the time and had been a lifelong entrepreneur. When the elderly man disappeared Law Enforcement first considered it abduction but as time passed it became clear that it was indeed a homicide.

Evidence surfaced regarding the family feud and the police sought out the 25 year old man, but to no avail. For over a year the young man evaded police until finally they located and incarcerated him as a suspect in the murder case. The young man confessed to the murder and explained to police where the body was buried. Even with the perpetrator’s description of the burial the location was far too vague for an excavation to begin.

The investigators recognized that they needed a more detailed map of the subsurface and did not want to start an excavation based on an unreliable criminal source.

Law Enforcement then turned to Sensors & Software’s GPR systems. Officer Lina Isaksson Funke explained that they were relying on Sensors & Software’s system to give them the rationale necessary to begin the excavation and find the remains of the homicide. Prosecutor Sonevang and Reconnaissance Team Leader Ulf Martinsson accompanied the GPR team as they completed the subterranean search of the area.

Figure 1: Murder in Sweden: GPR enables successful excavation

Using a Sensors & Software 500Mhz GPR system, an optimal frequency for forensics, the teams quickly completed a thorough examination of the underground. After analyzing the data, one area stood out as a point of interest.

The excavator operator was directed to the location where, based on the GPR data, they believed the body was present. The driver of the excavator worked slowly in cooperation with the officers wielding shovels. Periodically a dog trained to located rotting flesh was allowed to jump into the hole. Though the GPR gave them an indication of the depth of the body, the dog would serve as a secondary alert when they started getting close to the cadaver.

At a depth of 1.5 meters the cadaver of the 63 year old entrepreneur was located. Forensic teams quickly set up a tent around the scene of the evidence and respectfully removed the body.

It is difficult for a murder trial to proceed without a body. Sensors & Software’s equipment provided police with the information they needed to bring a troubled man to justice.

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