Digital Forensics in Fire Investigations
Wednesday, April 26, 2023 (8:00am - 10:00am) (Ballroom 2)
Arson is often described as one of the most difficult crimes to solve. Not only is evidence destroyed in the fire, but suspects often pick opportune times or remote locations to commit the act. In today’s climate of digital connectedness, digital forensics can assist fire investigators in determining the origin, cause, and responsible party. The objective of this presentation is for the student to be able to identify the evidentiary value that digital data can provide in an arson investigation. Digital forensics is the process of identifying, preserving, analyzing, and documenting digital evidence. This presentation will discuss the types of digital devices and data commonly evaluated in fire investigations:
Call Detail Records
Vehicle System Forensics
Social Media Platforms
I joined the Fort Worth Fire Department in March 2011 as a firefighter/EMT. In 2012 I achieved my Paramedic certification. In April 2019, I was promoted to the rank of Engineer. In August of 2019, I joined the Fort Worth Fire Department Bureau of Criminal Investigations and Bomb Squad. I have been an Arson Investigator since June 2020 and continue to be an active member of the unit. I currently hold certifications as an Advanced Structure Firefighter, and as a Hazardous Materials Technician with TCFP.
Michael O’Neil is currently an Engineer with the Fort Worth Fire Department. He has been in the fire service for 12 years and has been assigned to the Bureau of Criminal Investigations/Bomb Squad since 2016. He holds certifications as a TCOLE Intermediate Peace Officer, TCFP Advanced Structural Firefighter, Advanced Arson Investigator, and IAAI Certified Fire Investigator. Michael O’Neil is certified in cell phone technology and forensic data recovery. He is a Cellebrite Certified Operator and Cellebrite Certified Physical Analyst.