Tonya Blevins
Criminal Investigations
Case study #4
Byron Butler
Synopsis: You have been assigned to coordinate an outside search. The area includes
approximately 1 acre. You have two officers plus yourself to complete the search. What search
approach would you use and why?
Given we already have a search warrant if one is needed to search the property, I would
use either the Lane-search pattern or the circle-spiral search pattern. I would use the Lane-search
pattern because it allows for the area to be broken down into sections using markers, such as
stakes and strings. This would probably be the most accurate search method for a smaller group
of people; the reason being that each person would search what is marked within their specified
area. The circle-spiral method could be useful in that it allows the group to start in the middle
and work outward. However, something could be missed because the searchers would be
walking at angles.
Case Study Answer
The purpose of a search is to locate, identify, and preserve all evidence. The process or system
used is less important. However, based on the size of the area to be searched and the number of
officers available, a lane search would probably be the most appropriate, the reason being that
this approach allows you to search the area most effectively with the number of officers present.
The area is large, so your decision will also depend on the nature of the evidence you are
searching for in this case.