AUGUST 2019 - IAPE Monthly Newsletter
Ask Joe...
Each month, IAPE's primary instructor, Joe Latta, answers one of your questions. Consider writing us if you have a question that needs an answer. We would love to hear from you.  
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Dear Joe,
What is your take on this? A weapon is submitted and sealed.  It is then taken to Serology to have it swabbed for DNA (not to be tested right away). The swabs are then placed in the same gun bag with only documentation in the Serology section not shared with others. The swabs are never submitted separately  in the Evidence Control Unit. Is that a best practice, or should the swabs be submitted separately to be analyzed when needed? Just wondering what your thoughts are on that.

Thank you,
Bob Swab
Dear Bob Swab,
The best practice for collecting and preserving additional evidence from an item (i.e. Swabs of Trace DNA from a firearm) is to package the evidence separately, itemize and document the new evidence into the evidence record.  It is not recommended to package and retain this evidence with the originating item and not properly document the new evidence collected into the evidence record.  Most forensic laboratories will only accept the item that will be tested.  In this case, the forensic lab will only need the swabs from the weapon for DNA testing. The key word in the last sentence is "most". I would suggest you contact your lab and see if they concur.



More than 2,200 fetal remains found in Illinois home of former South Bend abortion doctor 
 September 14, 2019

WILL COUNTY, Ill. - Authorities are investigating the discovery of more than 2,200 medically preserved fetal remains at the home of the late Ulrich "George" Klopfer, a former South Bend abortion clinic doctor.

The attorney for Klopfer's family called authorities on Thursday, when family members found the 2,246 fetal remains as they went through Klopfer's home in unincorporated Will County, according to the Sherrif's Office. Klopfer died Sept. 3.
Sheriff's deputies, crime scene investigators and the county coroner went to the home, found the remains and took possession.

Will County authorities said there was no evidence that medical procedures were conducted on the property, and the family is cooperating in the investigation. Will County is about 45 miles southwest of Chicago.

Klopfer was a longtime doctor at the Women's Pavilion clinic in South Bend, where he provided abortions for decades. He also performed abortions at clinics in Gary and Fort Wayne. He was believed to be Indiana's most prolific abortion doctor, with thousands of procedures in multiple counties over several decades.

On Friday night, the president of Indiana Right to Life, Mike Fichter, issued a statement saying "we are horrified" and calling for Indiana authorities to help determine whether the fetal remains have any connection to abortion operations in the state.

"These sickening reports underscore why the abortion industry must be held to the highest scrutiny," Fichter said in the statement.

In a statement released by her office, U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Jimtown, called the discovery of the remains "sickening beyond words."

"He was responsible for thousands of abortions in Indiana, and his careless treatment of human remains is an outrage," she said in her statement.

Walorski echoed Fichter's statement and called for "rigorous oversight" of abortion providers and said she would be "looking into federal legislation to ensure the remains of aborted babies are always treated with dignity, including in the case of chemical abortions."

The Women's Pavilion in South Bend, which opened in 1978, shut down in March 2016 , a few months after Klopfer stopped providing abortions there. 

The Indiana Attorney General's office had previously opened an investigation and brought several allegations , including that Klopfer did not have properly qualified staff for patient sedation. He also was accused of errors on state-mandated terminated pregnancy reports, late submissions on several reports of abortions provided to girls 13 or younger, and having unqualified staff members providing pre-abortion counseling to patients.

In June 2014, Klopfer was charged in St. Joseph County with a misdemeanor charge of failure to timely file a public report. He was accused of waiting months to report an abortion he provided to a 13-year-old girl in South Bend. The charge was later dropped after Klopfer completed a pre-trial diversion program.

In prior years, state health inspectors had found violations in abortion clinics overseen by Klopfer, including staff members taking home soiled linens to launder, delayed disposal of an abortion specimen and poorly maintained emergency response equipment.

In a 2015 interview with The Tribune, Klopfer defended his practice and said state officials were targeting him.

"If I had an agenda," Klopfer said, "and I went to inspect a hospital and spent two or three days there, do you think I couldn't find errors or mistakes?"

He also defended his medical care, saying, "I've never lost a patient. No patient of mine in all the years I've been doing abortions has ever had a major complication."
One of the final times Klopfer was in the public eye was in August 2016, when the Indiana Medical Licensing Board suspended his medical license for failing to exercise reasonable care and violating several documentation requirements.

One board member, Rebecca Moredock-Mueller, accused Klopfer of having a nonchalant attitude and lacking sound medical judgment.

"The thing that bothered me most was his professional incompetence," she said.
Klopfer was no longer practicing by that time, but he told the panel he had never lost a patient in 43 years of doing abortions and that he hoped to eventually re-open his clinics.

Commentary: As our staff peruses the daily news headlines about property rooms, there is frequently story that rises to the top for discussion. Hopefully, this story from Illinois will make one ask - What type of contingency plans does my department have for the seizure of any large quantity of property and evidence to be stored for an indefinite period of time? 
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A special thank you to  Evidence Technician
Mike Lowder  from the Erie Police Department (CO) for sharing his  Keeper of the Krapola photo with us! 

"I received quite a response from many in the department. All positive I might add. Thank you and I'm enjoying my shirt. I told everyone I was in a small way trying to bring class and style to the Erie PD Property and Evidence room.
Thanks again! Mike"

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