Friday, April 3, 2020


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Crime Scene Investigations





Crime Scene Investigations Unit 

 To contact the Crime Scene Investigations Unit please use the following email address:

Lt. Peter J. Cestare

Sr. Lab Investigator Rebecca Phillips


Sgt. Heather Wilson


Lab Investigator Dennis Lewis


Lab Investigator Jill Dimigauer




Telephone # 843-915-8343
Fax # 843-915-6358

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The Crime Scene Investigations Unit is a branch of the Criminal Investigations Division of the Horry County Police Department. The Crime Scene Investigations Unit responds 24 hours a day to support Patrol and Detective personnel in the investigative, documentary and recovery process of evidence at crime scenes. The Crime Scene Unit assists in the investigation of homicides and violent crimes, in addition to any other investigation where their services may be helpful. Crime Scene Unit personnel receive specialized training in crime scene reconstruction, photography, latent fingerprints, DNA collection, chemical application, alternative light sources, evidence handling and processing. In addition, they are trained in the casting of tire and shoe impressions, impression analysis, blood pattern analysis, and trajectory analysis. The Crime Scene Unit uses a state-of-the-art AFIS (Automated fingerprint investigation system) to review, capture and identify fingerprints and partial prints lifted from crime scenes. This AFIS equipment has helped identify and solve countless investigations by comparing fingerprints to the state and federal fingerprint databases.  The Crime Scene Unit is the forensic services section of the Horry County Police Department. The mainstream field of forensics is fingerprinting, latent print lifting and latent print examination and analysis. Crime Scene Unit personnel are charged with the forensics portion of the investigation, from their arrival at the scene all the way through providing expert testimony at trial. The Crime Scene Investigations Unit is required to preserve, collect, process, testify and present evidence in court. All of these skills are applied to physical evidence to determine if the evidence matches the version of events provided by victims, witnesses, or suspects.

As a no-charge service to the public, citizens are fingerprinted each Wednesday from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm at Horry County Police Department 2560 N. Main Street, Conway. No appointment is necessary for this service however, to avoid delays please call ahead.

Frequently asked questions:

1- When and where are auctions held? – Horry County Police auctions are usually held once or twice yearly at the M.L. Brown for abandoned vehicles and property. Horry County Fleet Maintenance holds separate auctions at their facility for surplus county vehicles. In both instances, signs are posted in front of the facilities and advertisements are placed in the local newspaper.

2- Can I come today to be fingerprinted, and what is the cost? – Generally, fingerprinting is done on Wednesdays from 8 am to 12 noon. There is no cost for this service but you must provide your own fingerprint cards. If you are unable to come on the scheduled day, you may call and make an appointment for a different day or time.

3- I lost my wallet at the beach, do you have it? – HCPD has jurisdiction in the unincorporated areas of Myrtle Beach and Horry County. You should also check with Myrtle Beach Police Department, Surfside Beach Police or State Park Rangers if the loss occurred in any of those areas.

4- I heard that you recovered some property; can I come and see if any of it belongs to me? – Property recovered must be identified in the presence of the assigned Officer or Detective, he or she will then contact the Property and Evidence Section.

5- Where is my car? – Stolen and recovered vehicles are towed to the counties authorized tow lot. HCPD Dispatch will notify you if your stolen vehicle is recovered. All other vehicle tows are done on a rotational tow basis. To find out where your vehicle has been towed, the registered owner can contact Horry County Communications at 843-248-1520 and ask to check the wrecker log.

6- My gun is in police custody and I would like to get it back. – Under federal law 18USC922, a felon, drug addict, alien, mental defective, possessing a restraining order, pending CDV or CDV conviction, fugitive from justice, dishonorable discharge from the military, cannot possess, sell or use a firearm.

7- My property is there, but a hold is on it. How do I get it back? – When a hold has been placed on property, it cannot be released until the owner contacts the holding officer.

8- My property was taken as evidence, can I get it back? – Property that is held as evidence must have a disposition from the general sessions or magistrate court before it is released. You must contact the solicitor assigned to the case, or the magistrate / judge. They will issue a release.

9- I left my car on the side of the road, and when I went back it was gone. – Vehicles left on the side of the road may be towed as abandoned after 48 hours. Abandoned vehicles are towed by Squeaky’s Wrecker Service.

10- There is a charge on my criminal history that I do not understand. – Contact SLED at 803-737-900 and ask for the records section. SLED maintains records on NCIC.

11- I found a gun or another type weapon, what should I do? – If possible do not touch it, call and let the police respond and safely secure it and remove it.

12- My home was broken into, what should I do? – If you suspect that the offender may still be present, do not enter. Call 911 and advise the operator what has happened. Try not to touch anything; the police may be able to obtain fingerprints, footwear impressions, or other evidence that may help to solve your crime.

13- My car has been broken into, what should I do? - Try not to touch anything; the police may be able to obtain fingerprints or other evidence that may help to solve your crime.

14- I need to come in and have fingerprints taken, what do I need to do? – The person or employer requesting the fingerprints needs to provide you with a fingerprint card. There is no fee for fingerprint services but you should call and schedule an appointment. We offer open fingerprinting hours on Wednesdays from 8am to noon; no appointment is necessary on these days.

15- If my home is broken into and the officer uses fingerprint powder, will it destroy anything? – Fingerprint powder can permanently stain many things; it is best to check with the officer prior to having them dust for prints.

16- Can you obtain fingerprints from all surfaces or items? – There are several different types of processes. Sometimes fingerprints can be obtained at the scene, other times the item may have to be taken to the police department for a more extensive chemical process. Not all surfaces are conducive to obtaining fingerprints. Greasy or dirty surfaces may be very difficult. Some surfaces due to their texture make it very difficult to obtain fingerprints. It is always best to check with an officer.

17- I saw this procedure on the hit TV show CSI, did you try it on my crime? TV shows will often times make things look so simple or even make things up to entertain the viewer. Some of the procedures you see are in fact true, and some are not, however the time that is really involved in crime scene processing and testing of evidence is quite different from what they portray. If you have a question or concern please call us.



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Main Office:   843-915-5350 · M.L. Brown Public Safety Building · 2560 Main Street, Suite 7 · Conway, SC 29526