By Nikki Namdar
Special to Valencia Voice
An FBI investigator in the case against Casey Anthony testified on Saturday that a hair from the trunk of Casey’s vehicle was from a body that decomposed.
Karen Korsberg Lowe was assigned to the case in July 2008 to examine hair and fiber as an expert in microscopic examination with 12 years of experience.
She said of the dozen pieces of hair found, one light brown strand that was nine inches in length was consistent with decomposition.
Lowe explained to the jury the process of examining hair and how to differentiate between hair from a dead body versus a live one, and to determine if it was pulled hair or hair that naturally fell out.
Lowe stated she’s done a “fair number” of hair-inspections and gave details on the three steps of hair-examination: collection, identification and comparison.
“There are characteristics of apparent decomposition,” Lowe said of the hair she put through the three step process.
The piece found in the car’s trunk was evidently post-mortem due to the characteristics Lowe spoke of, which were: the darkened band at the root and lack of tissue.
Lowe also informed the jury that they were unable to completely discover if the hair found belonged to Casey’s 2-year-old Caylee Marie Anthony, whom Casey is on trial for allegedly murdering.
Karin L. Moore, the assistant professor of law at Florida Agriculture and Mechanical University in Orlando, attended Saturday’s court proceeding.
Moore, who has been teaching at FAMU for seven years and has practiced criminal defense for 22, says although the hair was not classified to be positively Caylee’s, it is still important for the jury to know about.
“Under our rules of evidence, anything that tends to prove or disprove a fact is relevant,” said Moore, but also admitted that she is worried that the language might be confusing for the jury. “They tend to believe forensic evidence,” she added. “It’s very important to cross-examine it.”
Mike Vincent, the assistant supervisor for the crime scene unit in Orange County, testified about additional tests he’s conducted.
Vincent, who has worked with Orange County for nine years, said he checked for blood in the car, which came out negative, obtained samples of the stain on the spare tire cover, and also took air samples on several different dates.
“I did air samples from the vehicle on Aug. 30,” Vincent said. “I did air samples of the trash in the vehicle.” He also took retrieved air samples from the Anthony family’s garage.
The air samples were collected and shipped to a laboratory in Oakridge, Tennessee, along with the substance on the surface of the spare tire cover, along with hair and swabs of skin cells from the mouths of Casey Anthony, her parents Cindy and George Anthony, and her brother Lee.
The trial at the Orange County courthouse on Monday at 9 a.m. If convicted of first degree homicide, Casey could face the death penalty.