banner"Hi, I'm Eddie. My dad trained me and our Keela to search for cadavers and blood. Our sensitive noses help dad find out where the evidence is hidden so he can help the forensic scientists take samples for further analysis.

We can't tell lies like people do and we only show him where we detect the smells."

Operation Task Canine Deployments 1-8 August 2007

Author: admin | Files under Uncategorized

August 2007


Personal Profile

I am a ‘retired’ police officer, formally a senior instructor at the South Yorkshire Police dog training establishment.

I have 35 years experience in the training of dogs both within the police service and in the public sector.

I specialise in the development and training of specialist search dogs to include narcotics, explosives, currency, human remains, blood and semen.

I am the Special Advisor to The U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, in relation to their Canine Forensic Program.

I am a U.K.A.C.P.O. (Association of Chief Police Officers, England and wales) accredited police dog training instructor. I am a Subject Matter Expert in forensic canine search and on the N.P.I.A. (National Policing Improvement Agency) Expert Advisers database.

I advise Domestic and International Law enforcement agencies on the operational deployment of Police Dogs in the role of Homicide investigation.

I develop methods of detecting forensically recoverable evidence by the use of dogs and facilitate training.

Iam regularly deployed to homicide cases within my portfolio and form a ‘Specialist Canine Homicide Search Team’ including the S.A.M dog teams from Dyfed Powys and USA.

I have trained and handle two operational specialist search dogs:

  • ‘Eddie’ is a 7-year-old English Springer spaniel dog who is trained as an Enhanced Victim Recovery Dog (EVRD).
  • ‘Keela’ is a three-year old English Springer spaniel bitch who is trained as an Human blood search dog (C.S.I. dog).


On the instruction of The PJ Director, The Portuguese police kept all search records concerning the deployment of the search dogs. All dog searches were recorded by video.

The following searches were conducted:

  • Five apartments at a complex in Praia Da Luz.
  • Mr. Murat’s property at Praia Da Luz.
  • Mr. McCann’s Villa at Praia Da Luz ( Present occupancy).
  • Articles of clothing from Mr. McCann’s residence.
  • Western beach Praia da Luz.
  • Eastern Beach Praia Da Luz.
  • 10 Vehicles screened at Portimao.


All five apartments were searched using the EVRD. The only alert indications were at apartment 5a, the reported scene.

The EVRD alerted in the:

  • Rear bedroom of the apartment in the immediate right hand corner by the door.
  • Living room, behind sofa.
  • Veranda outside parent’s bedroom.
  • Garden area directly under veranda.

My observation of the dog’s behaviour in this instance was that the dog’s behaviour changed immediately upon opening the front door to the apartment. He will normally remain in the sit position until released and tasked to search. On this occasion he broke the stay and entered the apartment with an above average interest. His behaviour was such that I believed him to be ‘in scent’ and I therefore allowed him to free search without direction to allow him to identify the source of his interest. He did so alerting in the rear bedroom.

I released him from this and tasked him to continue to search. He did so alerting in an area to the rear of the sofa in the lounge.

The dog’s behaviour for these alerts led me to the following opinions:


The first alert was given with the dogs head in the air without a positive area being identified. This is the alert given by him when there is no tangible evidence to be located only the remaining scent.

The second alert was one where a definitive area was evident. The CSI dog was therefore deployed who gave specific alert indications to specific areas on the tiled floor area behind the sofa and on the curtain in the area that was in contact with the floor behind the sofa. This would indicate to the likely presence of human blood.

The forensic science support oficers were then deployed to recover items for laboratory analysis.

There were no alert indications from the remaining properties. I did however see the dog search in the kitchen waste bins. These contained meat foodstuffs including pork and did not result in any false alert response.


The property was subjected to a search for human remains or blood stained articles. The outside of property was stripped of vegetation and after the ground being probed was searched by the EVRD dog. The inside of the property was then searched by the dog. There were no alert indications and no human remains were located.


The villa interior, garden, and all property within were searched by the EVRD.

The only alert indication given was when the dog located a pink cuddly toy in the villas lounge. The CSI dog did not alert to the toy when screened separately.

It is my view that it is possible that the EVRD is alerting to cadaver scent contamination. No evidential or intelligence reliability can be made from this alert unless it can be confirmed with corroborating evidence.


At a suitable venue numerous boxes of clothing 1 property taken from the McCann present residence were screened using both the EVRD and the CSI dog. The venue was screened by both dogs prior to introducing clothing/property. Neither gave an alert indication. The screening then took place with the contents of each box being placed around the room in turn. The process was recorded by video and written records were taken by PJ officers.

The only alert indication was by the EVRD on clothing from one of the boxes. I am not in possession of the details as these were recorded by the PJ ofíicers present.


It is my view that it is possible that the EVRD is alerting to ‘a cadaver scent’ contaminant. No evidential or intelligence reliability can be made from this alert unless it can be confirmed with corroborating evidence.


The beach above the waterline was searched. This extended to areas of fallen rock and the cliff face as far as the dog could negotiate the incline. There were no alert indications.


The beach above the waterline was searched. This extended to areas of fallen rock and the cliff face as far as the dog could negotiate the incline. There were no alert indications.


Ten vehicles were screened in an underground multi storey car park at Portimao. The vehicles, of which I did not know the owner details, were  parked on an empty floor with 20-30 feet between each. The vehicle placement video recording and management of the process was conducted by the PJ. The EVRD was then tasked to search the area. When passing a vehicle I know know to be hired and in the possession of the McCann family, the dog’s behaviour changed substantially. This then produced an alert indication at the lower part of the drivers door where the dog was biting and barking. I recognise this behaviour as the dog indicating scent emitting from the inside of the vehicle through the seal around the door.

This vehicle was then subjected to a full physical examination by the PJ and no human remains were found. The CSI dog was then tasked to screen the vehicle. An alert indication was forthcoming from the rear driver’s side of the boot area. Forensic samples were taken by the PJ and forwarded to a forensic laboratory in the U.K.

It is my view that it is possible that the EVRD is alerting to ‘cadaver scent’ contaminant or human blood scent. No evidential or intelligence reliability can be made from this alert unless it can be confirmed with corroborating evidence. The remainder of the vehicles were screened by the EVRD without any interest being shown. Therefore the CSI dog was not further deployed.



The tasking for this operation was as per my normal Standard Operating Procedures. The dogs are deployed as search assets to secure evidence and locate human remains or Human blood.

The dogs only alerted to property associated with the McCann family. The dog alert indications MUST be corroborated if to establish their findings as evidence.

Therefore in this particular case, as no human remains were located, the only alert indications that may become corroborated are those that the CSI dog indicated by forensic laboratory analysis.

My professional opinion as regards to the EVRD’s alert indications is that it is suggestive that this is ‘cadaver scent’ contaminant. This does not however suggest a motive or suspect as cross contamination could be as a result of a number of given scenarios and in any event no evidential or intelligence reliability can be made from these alerts unless they can be confirmed with corroborating evidence.

2 responses. Wanna say something?

  1. paul Levine
    Apr 12, 2011 at 16:53:11

    We are a private security company. We have just set up a training programme for GP security dog handlers and also search courses under british standards.
    Our trainers are ex RAF military police. We are now looking to supply search dogs to spec and offer instruction courses to suit.
    Would you or any of your contacts be interseted in further discussions
    yours sincerly

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