Posted 11:18 PM 5/10/2013 : Tommy Gun, coffin among items found in Sheriff's Dept. evidence warehouse
TUCSON-It's like a museum of criminal history. From a "Tommy Gun" to a coffin, every piece of evidence you can possibly imagine packed and sealed in a 24,000 square foot warehouse. A warehouse that has over 343,000 pieces of evidence and property.
The oldest piece of evidence is stored in a secure area where two employees have to use their codes and enter at the same time. It's a revolver from a 1960 homicide. The case is unsolved.
Inside, security cameras are watching and recording every move. Also in the room weapons, drugs, and cash.
Some of the unusual weapons, a Tommy Gun from a 1986 homicide.
Some of the weapons were involved in death penalty cases. Evidence that had to be held for 99 years, but a new law has changed that. Lt. Doug Hannah heads the Property and Evidence section he says, "Some of those documents and evidence that relate to those cases are now indefinitely held."
Some technicians are leery of going into the section where homicide evidence is stored. Maika Grignano, says, "You have to understand when you walk through the aisle and you come across a homicide case somebody did lose their life, so walking through there definitely gives you a lot to think about."
Upstairs, some of the oldest cases, with some of the most bizarre evidence. Such as a bong with the face of a devil on it, a 1987 case involving a French knife with a wooden handle, a 1994 case some ornate swords
At one time they even had a coffin that was found in a landfill. Sandra Valencia says, "The family decided they wanted to cremate the remains of that particular person so I'm under the impression that he was removed, exhumed and cremated and the coffin was thrown in a landfill." The landfill contacted the sheriff's department.
No crime was committed, so the coffin was in property and evidence for a short time. That's not the case for the thousand pieces of evidence stored in boxes. Officials say, the evidence will remain until the cases go to trial and appeals are exhausted.
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