By Alan Shope, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -
Collecting evidence is the most critical part of any investigation and Thursday the Kansas City office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation opened their doors to the media to show how they do their job.
"If there was a violent struggle, there might be blood splatter," said an FBI agent.
They are the major cases everyone has heard about - crime scenes too gruesome to even imagine. The team that works those scenes talked about what they do. For security reasons, their identities can't be shown.
The Kansas City FBI office has three, 8-person teams that collect evidence and that evidence can sometimes open eyes.
"It does make you a bit cynical and it makes you realize that there are a lot more people out there that want to either do harm or that are mentally unstable then you would like to think," said an FBI agent.
The ERT, or Evidence Recovery Team, was started in 1994 for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. Now, 20 years later, all 56 FBI offices have the teams.
It's tedious work and they've got just one shot to get evidence right.
The ERT is one of the most important jobs when it comes to solving any crime and the agents at the FBI say it's tough not to take home what they see.
They say every crime scene is different and most still shock them.
"A lot of us have children and a lot of these sites are children, so the idea that this could have been my kid is the hardest part," said another FBI agent.
"You have to go out, you have to do your job, and you stay focused," said Lou Ann Stovall with the FBI's ERT.
When not on a crime scene the team is training. Every three months they get 16 hours of new training, things like blood stain detection and finding prints in snow. But nothing is more rewarding to the team then getting a bad guy behind bars.
"This is the best job in the bureau, being able to connect the dots, collecting the evidence and putting together that case, connect all those dots, that's the most amazing thing you can do," said an FBI agent.
The ERT unit is called out nearly 100 times a year and always when a child 12 years of age and under is missing. They said it's their relationships with other local law enforcement that makes things work smoothly.
Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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