Kate Steinle Homicide Gun stored in Salt Water by Police


In the Kate Steinle murder case in San Francisco, the murder weapon, a Sig Sauer P239 that was stolen from a Bureau of Land Management Agent’s locked car four days previously, was recovered from the San Francisco Bay. According to the San  Francisco Examiner, the firearm was deliberately stored immersed in salt water, and kept immersed in salt water from the bay until July 9th, 2015. That would be a full week immersion in salt water. From sfexaminer.com:

Divers placed the weapon in a Pelican Case filled with murky water from the Bay on July 2, 2015.

Smith said he kept the gun submerged in Bay waters until he tested it July 9, except for when he removed the weapon to test it for DNA on July 6.

Why would a firearms expert keep a firearms, of critical importance in a homicide investigation, stored in salt water?

Perhaps someone can explain it. I have a small amount of training in the handling of evidence, and I cannot explain it. I talked to a retired police officer, and he did not have an explanation. I talked to a retired federal agent, and he said that it made no sense to him.

The storage of the handgun in salt water does not appear to have made a difference in the case. It is simply a weird anomaly that I would like to see explained.


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