Imaging software helps ID suspect in La. murders

Imaging software helps ID suspect in La. murders

Sheriff's deputies in St. Martin Parish, La., used composite imaging technology to help identify Derrick Todd Lee, who is charged in the rape and murder of five women in south Louisiana. Lee was arrested May 27 in Atlanta.

Sheriff Mike Neustrom's office used Faces software from IQ Biometrix Inc. of Fremont, Calif., to construct a photo likeness of the suspect from victim and witness interviews before DNA results provided his identity.

"The composite sketch developed with the Faces software was a significant aid in identifying the suspect in the killings of five women and rape of another. The composite created through witness interviews is a very close resemblance to the suspect," sheriff's spokeswoman Captain Audrey Thibodeaux said.

'Faces makes adjustments and variations so you can make a dead-on likeness,' she said.

The latest Faces version contains a database of more than 3,800 facial features that can be combined to create images of either sex and any race. Selected features are automatically blended together to produce a composite that looks like a photograph.

A number of law enforcement agencies in North America use Faces, as do the CIA and FBI, according to the company.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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