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Karen Scullin ReportingA new forensic tool may help police departments all over Utah, and in other parts of the nation, do a better job finding crucial evidence at crime scenes.
You can't see it, but it's there. It takes an intense light source to prove it. And now there's a light that could prove to be more valuable than any other light source---a new Ultra Laser Light. It's uncovering mysteries that were hidden for years and even decades.
Charles Illsley, Forensics Expert: “We've already used it on one 24-year old unsolved homicide. We found evidence in that case 24 years after the fact with this instrument that the high end laser technology could not find."
A Utah scientist helped to develop the idea for the Ultra Light after looking closely at a dental instrument he invented.
Densen Cao, The Cao Group: “After I examined the idea, I thought this can be dramatic in improving law enforcement work, improving securities."
Illsley has used a traditional alternate light source to find fiber, hair, bodily fluids and remnants of illegal drugs at crime scenes. But the ultra light can uncover evidence the old light source could not. It's manufactured with three powerful crystals that emit a beam of light that's three times what traditional lasers put out. It's lighter, easier to transport from scene to scene, and can run on batteries.
World reknown forensic expert Dr. Henry Lee uses the Ultra Light on his investigations and recently took it to Hawaii.
Dr. Henry Lee, Forensics Expert: “I can easily with my two hands change the wavelengths, search the area which an ordinary light source cannot get in."
But other industries may also benefit. For instance, it could be used in motel rooms to show where cleaning crews need to focus their efforts. Only under the light can you see something dripping down the wall, a substance glowing in the toilet, and a mysterious stain on a chair.
Charles Illsley: “What this does is expand the ability of the human eye to see invisible agents."
And because it's affordable, only fifteen hundred dollars, a lot of police departments who couldn't afford the old 15 to 20 thousand dollar laser now have the Ultra Light to help them solve crimes. So far over ten police departments in Utah have purchased the ultra laser.