Thursday, September 27, 2007

Death of an identity thief

Our electronic fingerprint submission capability, a recent addition to the office, has really proven to be a benefit. A couple of days ago we were able to submit an individual’s prints and got confirmation of his identity in about 10 minutes. Then we were able to go and inform his family, confident that he was who we thought he was. Let’s just say we were less than confident on making the identification based on visual comparison with his photograph.

Another interesting incident pertaining to our fingerprint submissions occurred recently. In reviewing the responses from the IL Bureau of Identification one day we noted that an individual was identified that we did not have in our morgue storage or case files. It was a name that was familiar to me as someone who was still alive and who worked for a local agency, certainly not someone who had been through our office. When we called the individual whose name appeared he was indeed still alive and he related that he was aware that an individual had used his identity as cover because of run-ins with the police. The identity was taken after he had helped the now deceased individual on several occasions. So not only were we able to resolve the investigation into the cause of death of one individual through our usual practices, we were able to resolve a case of identity theft as well.

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