Thursday, October 16, 2014

Digging for gold

Trash digs, they aren't the most attractive part of this work, but they can be fruitful. We normally get this type of request for child custody related investigations. Lets say a person is trying to prove that the other parent likes to party, drinks a lot, or is not feeding their kids balanced meals. A trash dig can help validate that information. 

One particular case comes to mind that can be used as an example. We get a call from a client who is going through a custody issue, the Father of the children has a big drinking/drug problem, when he has custody of the kids he only feeds them fast food and junk food. After hearing the clients concerns we set a plan. First thing that needs to be determined is what day does the trash man come to pick up. It is illegal for anyone to walk onto a persons property and go through their trash, but once the trash is parked at the curb it is no longer on private property and therefor no longer considered property. A call to the local trash company and we are able to determine what day the trash is going to be curved, we also plan our efforts around the end of the visitation that the father has so that it will paint a more accurate picture of what goes on in the house. 

So the following Wednesday, we set our clocks for o dark thirty (it is easier to pick up trash at a time when everyone is sleeping) and made the necessary preparations. The following morning we get to the residence, a quick scan of the neighborhood is done to make sure that the closest neighbors are not up and about. We quickly photograph the residence, the vehicles parked in the driveway, the cans on the curb, all of this is done to establish that we are at the right residence and also that we are obtaining this information in a legal manner. As we are taking bags out of the trash cans, one happens to burst. Luckily we were prepared for this and placed the bags and its contents into a bigger, more secure bag. We go into the recycle can and see so many bottles that it would be almost impossible to grab them all without making a lot of noise, so we grab as many as we can and photograph the rest in the bin to help reaffirm our point. 

Where you take the bags is important, taking them to the office is not going to make your co-workers or bosses happy. We prefer to take them to a public park. We spread out a tarp, grab some sticks and start sifting through the findings. This particular dig shows that there is no produce, just a gallon of milk, and a ton of fast food bags. It also shows that there are quite a lot of prescription pill bottles with names that do not belong to the subject. The subject lives alone and these names are males names. We counted approximately 50 different bottles, everything from hard liquor to wine. Now this is the first dig, about three more in addition to this one, with basically the same type of findings and we were able to determine that there may be a lot of drinking going on and no cooking. The children who have told stories about witnessing their father in an alternate state of mind, have substantiated the suspicions of drinking and possible drug use.  Our client took this evidence to the court house, the father was mandated to get into a treatment program and to be tested before he has visitation with the children. 

Morrow Detective Agency is a licensed private investigation firm located on the border of Ventura and Los Angeles, Ca in Simi Valley, CA. Morrow Detective Agency is capable of performing surveillance, process service, locates, background investigations, asset investigations, and more. Please feel free to visit our website at or give us a call at (805) 823-3540 and allow us to make your problem our solution!


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