Riverside County is considered the 4th most populous county in the state of California. Boasting a population of 2.423 million in 2017, this gorgeous mix of desert terrain in the eastern and central county portions with a more Mediterranean climate in the western region, Riverside is a popular vacation destination for many tourists. The county features several resort cities including Palm Springs, Indian Wells and Palm Desert among others.
Despite its laid-back perfect vacation vibe, Riverside County does see a number of serious crimes each year. Just recently, a 48-year-old man shot and killed a rookie police officer who was investigating a car accident. Natalie Corona a 22-year old police officer was pronounced dead at the scene. Police investigators found a note written by the suspect Kevin Limbaugh at his place of residence. In the letter, the suspect alleges that local police officers have been tormenting him with “ultrasonic waves” for years.
Following the ambush shooting of the slain officer, the suspect engaged in a stand-off with police and killed himself. Reports indicate that the suspect was involved in a battery case last fall and was then ordered to turn over a semi-automatic weapon at that time. According to police, two semi-automatic handguns were found that were not registered to the suspect.
The Need for Crime Scene Cleanup in Riverside County
Dealing with a horrific crime committed on your property is bad enough. The emotional impact of such an event can change those who live through something like this forever. After the police have finished investigating a crime scene, the area will need to be cleaned relatively soon after. Going about a crime scene cleanup can be complicated as it is common to encounter biohazards on the crime scene that make it dangerous for those initiating the cleanup process.
A biohazard is generally defined as a biological material that has the ability to produce negative effects on humans, other animals, or the environment. Some examples of biohazards typically found on a violent crime scene include:
- Other Bodily Fluids – Urine, Semen, Vomit, Feces
- Other Biological Materials – Skin, Hair
- Contaminated Materials that Came Into Contact with Biohazards like Blood, Bodily Fluids & Contaminated Materials
Due to these potentially infectious materials found following a violent crime, the crime scene becomes a danger to other people’s health and should be cleaned up as soon as possible. This type of cleanup though is often delayed or initially limited due to it being a crime scene.
What Is a Crime Scene?
Basically, a crime scene is referred to as the physical and tangible place where some sort of illegal activity has taken place. This place is where police investigators can collect evidence of a crime.
Some examples of possible crime scenes include a bedroom inside of a house, or the police investigators can make the entire home a crime scene depending on what they find. The crime scene can also be divided up into an initial crime scene and secondary locations. Additionally, police investigators can include outdoor property areas as well.
During an active investigation of a case, the police take control over the place where they believe the crime took place. Nobody will be allowed to enter the crime scene without the explicit invitation from the investigators. This is to preserve the state and condition of the crime scene. There is no real time frame where the police must release the property back to its owners.
However, in many instances, this will occur after the first day. In rare cases, the scene is held until other forensic investigators have the opportunity to perform their own investigation like when a local police department calls on the FBI for a serious crime. When the crime scene is released, this is generally when the property owners call for professional crime scene cleanup services like those delivered by Eco Bear.
What to Do If a Dead Body Is Found on Your Property
If a dead body is discovered on your property, it is important to take steps in order to keep everyone near the scene from the danger of possible infectious pathogens. The first individual on the scene should immediately contact emergency medical professionals and the police by calling 911.
Those first on the scene of any violent death should take care not to disturb anything in the area. Additionally, it is highly recommended that the individuals leave the scene until the professionals are through with their investigation.
Biohazards are likely to be present in any blood, bodily fluids and contaminated materials on the scene. If the body has been dead for longer than 1 to 2 days, there will likely be more pathogens present as well as insects and other rodents drawn by the stench.
Typically, it will be very evident if a person is beyond resuscitation efforts due to the state of decomposition of the body that begins right at the time of death. Those harmful pathogens may also be contaminating the air, and individuals should wear the proper protection like masks prior to entering the room or space.
Who Is Responsible for Cleaning a Crime Scene?
Most individuals simply assume that law enforcement professionals will clean up the crime scene when they are through with investigation measures. This is only true if the crime was committed in a public area like a local park. If there has been a violent crime committed in your personal home or commercial private business, you will be responsible for the crime scene cleanup.
However, it is not recommended for the average property owner to embark on a cleanup of the crime scene due to a number of valid reasons. First, the aftermath of any violent crime that ends in death or severe injuries is bound to be contaminated with blood, human bodily fluids and lots of surrounding contaminated articles like bloody sheets, mattress or carpets.
Even if no visible evidence of blood is seen, there is still the likelihood of other pathogens present. Some additional reasons not to clean up a crime scene on your own include:
- Lack of Specialized Crime Scene Training
- No Access to the Industrial Strength Cleaning Supplies & Equipment
- Too Emotional Following the Death or Violent Crime Scene Results
- Lack of Proper Crime Scene Protective Attire & Gear to Remain Safe While Cleaning
How Do Bloodborne Pathogens Spread?
According to the American Red Cross, bloodborne pathogens can spread in a number of ways. These include:
- Direct Contact
- Indirect Contact
- Respiratory Droplet Transmission
- Vector-Borne transmission
Bloodborne pathogens that spread by direct contact include Aids, Hepatitis and MRSA. This contamination can be through direct contact with blood or other bodily fluids such as semen, urine or fecal matter. Many sexually transmitted diseases are spread in this manner the following sex with an infected partner.
Indirect contact with dangerous pathogens can occur when a person touches an item that was contaminated by blood or bodily fluids. Examples include touching clothing or bed covers soaked with blood or urine. A person attempting to clean up a bloody scene without wearing the appropriate protective attire and gear may get splashed by water contaminated with blood exposing the person through splashes to the face and eyes.
The potential for becoming infected is a serious reason for contacting a professional biohazard cleanup service such as Eco Bear for the safety of the family members or others present on the scene.
Respiratory Droplet Transmission
Respiratory droplet transmission happens when an infected person sneezes or coughs. Harmful pathogens found in blood and other bodily fluids can be spread in this manner. The air in a room inhabited by an ill person can still be contagious after the person moves out of the room or dies. This is why only professional biohazard cleanup specialists should handle the aftermath cleaning of this sort of contaminated scene for the health, safety and well being other others in the vicinity.
Individuals can become infected following a vector-borne transmission incident. An example is an infected mosquito that bites a human, or an infected rat that bites a family pet. Mosquitoes are known to transmit malaria among other diseases, and rats are known to transmit upwards of 35 different diseases including Hantavirus and Salmonella.
Requirements Necessary for a Crime Scene Cleanup
After being granted access to the property for cleanup purposes, the property owners should take immediate steps to ensure their own safety and the safety of anyone else at the crime scene premises. This involves wearing the appropriate protective attire also termed PPE for personal protection equipment. These PPE items include the following:
- Proper Gloves
- Disposable Protective Attire – Smock, Apron or Gowns
- Eye Protection – Eye Goggles, Face Shield
- Face Masks for Safe Breathing
- Disposable Protective Foot Booties & Hair Caps
- Possible Other PPE like O2 Tanks, Space-Suit Type Hazard Attire with Helmets
Anyone charged with cleaning up the aftermath of a horrific violent crime scene should also have the proper certifications documented beforehand. A professional crime scene remediation and property restoration company should have the following requirements:
- Appropriate Training, Skills & Experience for Biohazard Cleaning
- Proper Certifications like Bonded and Insured Workers
- Appropriate Registered in California Crime Scene Remediation Company & Services
What Exactly Do Crime Scene Cleaning Specialists Do?
Crime scene cleanup and remediation professionals perform what is typically termed biohazard remediation services. This type of remediation service is designed to return your private property back into a living and/or habitable state. These property remediation and restoration services consist of advanced cleaning services that are generally divided into 5 important steps. These are:
- 1. Containment
- 2. Cleanup
- 3. Sanitation
- 4. Deodorization
- 5. Restoration
Containment is the first step in any crime scene cleanup job. Since a violent crime scene is more likely to contain potentially hazardous pathogens from human blood, bodily fluids and other contaminated materials, containing the space ensure that there won’t be cross-contamination of these pathogens into other living or otherwise occupied areas.
Sometimes, the professional crime scene remediation specialists will need to install heavy-duty sheets of plastic to contain the present pathogens into the area. They will also close off any air vents or other openings that could spread airborne pathogens into the non-contaminated spaces. These cleaning professionals often use specialized fans to air out the area safely.
Cleaning the crime scene involves the careful cleanup, removal and/or elimination of any present blood, bodily fluids, other biological material and contaminated items from the crime scene using special cleanup measures. These substances and contaminated items are disposed of as hazardous waste. This means that they must be placed into designated biohazard bags and/or waste bins as mandated by California health and safety laws. Other items that are then unable to be effectively cleaned must also be discarded according to the same regulations. Thorough cleaning then begins on all surfaces.
After aggressive cleanup measures, the scene will then be properly sanitized using the highest hospital grade sanitation chemicals and cleanup equipment. This will eliminate any dangerous pathogens including bloodborne pathogens that are highly contagious like:
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
This type of sanitation goes further than simply cleansing the outer surfaces. Some airborne pathogens will contaminate the surrounding items like sofa upholstery, mattresses, and other furnishings, and must be treated as a dangerous item until completely sanitized by these remediation specialists like those at Eco Bear.
Depending on the manner of crime committed on the scene, it is often crucial to use a strong deodorization process. If the scene was the result of a suicide or homicide, the foul stench of death is likely to present. This necessitates the use of powerful deodorization products that are commercial and hospital grade for best results. As many pathogens like bacteria, viruses and mold spores can become airborne and dangerous to humans and animals, this deodorization process should be performed by biohazard cleanup professionals like Eco Bear to completely eradicate these pathogens allowing the space to be safe and habitable once again.
The restoration of the property found on a crime scene is very important. It takes advanced training and access to specific cleaning products and equipment to be successful in complete property restoration efforts. This job is best left up to reliable and skilled professional cleanup and restoration specialists like those working for Eco Bear.
The end goal of every property biohazardous or crime scene cleanup and remediation/restoration service is to restore the space back to what it was prior to the incident.
How Much Does It Cost to Cleanup a Crime Scene?
There are a number of factors that come into play when determining how much it costs to effectively clean up a crime scene in Riverside County. The exact nature of the crime, how extensive the crime scene is and how much potential biohazard substances are found on the site all contribute to determining the actual cleanup costs.
While these cleanup costs do vary also by geographical region and the above considerations, Eco Bear is committed to providing affordable biohazard cleanup and property restoration services to those that need it.
Who Pays for Crime Scene Cleanup & Restoration Services?
If the crime scene is a private residence or business, the property owner is likely responsible for the cleanup costs afterward. However, the property owner might be able to get financial assistance for these services.
Some homeowners insurance policies will cover some or all of a crime scene cleanup in specific circumstances. Other policies would require a rider clause that the homeowner can opt for.
The California Victim Compensation Board may be able to offer up to $1,000 towards the cleanup process in some instances.
Property owners that need specialized biohazard cleanup and property restoration following a crime that occurred on their property are urged to hire a professional biohazard cleanup and remediation service like Eco Bear to clean up the crime scene. Contact Eco Bear via https://ecobear.co for further information.