Body heat gives suspect away

Thermal imaging puts man behind bars

BOSTON, Dec. 2 (UPI) —

A young Boston man is going to prison after learning that a gun tossed into a snow bank still retained his body heat — and police could detect it.

Jose Rodrigues, 25, was the first person to be convicted of a weapons charge in the city because of thermal imaging evidence, the Boston Herald reported. He was sentenced Monday to two years behind bars.

Priam Pillai, a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was a key witness for the prosecution. Pillai testified as an expert on the use of the Bullard TI Commander camera, which registers heat.

Police used the camera after detaining Rodrigues on Jan. 12. Pointed at a snow bank, it showed a warmer object buried underneath, which proved to be the gun police suspected Rodrigues had thrown there after running when they tried to question him.

If an object has been handled in some way, it will become the same temperature as the person, Pillai told the Herald. If you get to it quickly enough, you can show it was used.