Crime Scene Cleanup & Recovery Guide in Baltimore

Not many people know that the responsibility of cleaning up a crime scene falls on the shoulders of the owner of the home or place of business where the scene of the crime took place. Most assume that the police will clean up after themselves when they leave the crime scene. The fact is, when the police have finished their processing and give the owner of the home or business the okay to begin repairing the damage, they may only have advice to offer on where to start.

Our Baltimore crime scene recovery guide will walk you through the process. We’ll also answer the most frequently asked questions, as well as give you a quick tip on how to choose a Baltimore crime scene cleanup company that can take care of the cleanup for you.

Baltimore Crime Scene Recovery Resources

Baltimore Police Department – Central District
500 E Baltimore St, Baltimore, MD 21202
(410) 396-2525

Baltimore Police Department – Southeast District
5710 Eastern Ave, Baltimore, MD 21224
(410) 396-2422

Baltimore Police Department – Northwest District
5271 Reisterstown Rd, Baltimore, MD 21215
(410) 396-2466

Baltimore Police Department Southwest District
424 Font Hill Ave, Baltimore, MD 21223
(410) 396-2488

Baltimore Police Department Northeast District
1900 Argonne Dr, Baltimore, MD 21218
(410) 396-2444

Northeast Baltimore
Marzullo Funeral Chapel
6009 Harford Rd, Baltimore, MD 21214
(410) 254-5201

Southeast Baltimore
Charles L Stevens Funeral Home
1501 E Fort Ave, Baltimore, MD 21230
(410) 752-7739

Northwest Baltimore
March Funeral Homes
4300 Wabash Ave, Baltimore, MD 21215
(410) 542-2400

Southwest Baltimore
Hubbard Funeral Home Inc
4107 Wilkens Ave, Baltimore, MD 21229
(410) 242-3300

Changing Turn Community Health Care Services
5438 York Rd #103, Baltimore, MD 21212
(443) 708-1461

ABA Health Services, Inc.
3939 Reisterstown Rd, Baltimore, MD 21215
(410) 367-7821

Helping Hands Health Services, Inc,
2204 Maryland Ave, Baltimore, MD 21228
(443) 863-7343

How Are Crime Scenes Processed?

Police investigators and forensic experts will literally go through every nook and cranny of your property. Their main goal is to gather samples and physical evidence for use in their investigation.

Typically, law enforcement will go through these steps in processing a crime scene:

  1. Secure the scene
  2. Locate ground zero and then move out to the perimeter
  3. Conduct a walkthrough
  4. Document the scene and gather samples
  5. Record all recovered evidence

What physical evidence are they looking for?

  • Blood, hair, skin, body fluids and other biological evidence
  • Fingerprints, footprints, palm prints, and other latent evidence
  • Tire tracks and shoe tracks
  • Cellphones, emails, and other digital evidence
  • Fibers, cigarettes, glass, soil, leaves and shrubs, and other trace evidence
  • Drugs and paraphernalia
  • Weapon marks

Forensic teams may not be able to collect all the evidence on the list. For the most part, however, they will be fortunate to collect two or three latent pieces of evidence that will point to the perpetrator.
There’s a reason why police follow a strict chain of evidence. They must properly document how they collect evidence, how they bag it, who they give it to, and how the evidence is transported. This is to ensure that the evidence they present to the court is not contaminated.

Until they give the clearance, the crime scene may be secured with yellow police tape. Until that time, you or the Baltimore crime scene recovery company are not allowed to touch anything. The problem is that when everybody has left, you will be left to clean up the mess.

Police could leave behind other chemical and biological substances that are not needed for their ensuing investigation. You may be left to deal with cleaning up fingerprint dust and tear gas, for example.

Who Cleans Up After the Investigators? Why is Cleaning the Crime Scene Important?

Once the investigators, forensics teams, and medical personnel have left, who takes over to clean up the scene?

Unfortunately, this responsibility falls on the shoulders of the homeowner or the business owner. Understandably, this is going to be difficult. You are still processing the trauma of being a victim. If you also lost a loved one to a crime, you’ll also be dealing with grief and anger.

Even in the midst of this emotional trauma, it’s crucial that the crime scene is cleaned up right away because of the possible biohazards. This is even more important if anyone occupying your home is elderly, very young, or have a compromised immune system, because they may be particularly vulnerable to the health risks posed by these biohazards.

What is a biohazard?

As defined by the dictionary, a biohazard is a biological agent that poses a health risk to people and the environment. When we think of a biohazard, we always associate it with chemical waste but there’s much more to it.

Here are some examples of a biohazard:

  • Animal and human waste — People who die of violent causes may discharge some human waste. Human and animal excreta is quite dangerous and it could lead to diseases such as hepatitis, polio, schistosomiasis, typhoid, and cholera, among others.
  • Microbes — Viruses and pathogens that come from discarded laboratory equipment.
  • Human blood — The blood can also be a source of a health risk when it contains bloodborne pathogens such as HIV and hepatitis. Blood spills must be properly cleaned using a cleaning agent and disinfectant to make sure the inhabitants are safe.
  • Body fluids — Saliva, semen, amniotic fluid, brain fluid, and other body fluids may also pose a danger.

The problem is that the pathogens present in these fluids are impossible to see with the naked eye. And because they are invisible, you may be unaware of the risks.

This is especially true with homicides, assaults and other violent crimes where these biological hazards needed to be removed. However, these hazards are not only present at a crime scene. A cleanup and recovery crew may also be called in cases where a person who died of natural causes has decomposed at the scene after an unattended death.

There are typically four stages of decomposition:

  1. The first part is called autolysis. This is when the body actually digests itself as the cells are deprived of oxygen. Rigor mortis follows where the body stiffens. This typically begins six hours after death.
  2. The second phase is bloating. The enzymes that eat the cells then produce gas and bacteria.
  3. The third stage is the active decay when body tissue liquefies.
  4. The last stage is skeletonization.

Crime Scene and Cleanup Defined

Just as the name suggests, a crime scene is where a violent incident or an illegal deed was committed. But the term itself is only used when the scene is being processed and investigated.

Meanwhile, a crime scene cleanup refers to the activities that follow the investigation. When the police investigators, the medical team, and forensics experts have finished processing and collecting the evidence, what’s left will be for you to clean up.

Again, it should be emphasized that the home or office may not necessarily be the scene of a crime. Even an unattended death will need thorough processing and cleaning. Perhaps even more so, especially if the body has not been found for a week or more.

Even a simple burglary and break-in will also need the services of a cleanup company. In the course of the police investigation, your entire property may be dusted for latent fingerprints.

Another instance when a cleanup and recovery company may be called is during a traumatic incident. This might not necessarily be a crime scene. For example, a loved one might have committed suicide inside the house.

This is an extremely traumatic experience, and cleaning up the scene can be emotionally and psychologically challenging. A compassionate, experienced Baltimore crime scene cleanup team can relieve you of this burden while you focus on taking care of yourself and your loved ones.

Are Cleanup Services Covered by Insurance?

It’s not always the case, but the cost of cleanup can sometimes be covered by your insurance policy. To be sure, you need to call the insurance adjuster to determine coverage. This is not an easy task by any means, but it’s necessary. Have your insurance adjuster explain your policy and what you can avail.

Make sure you give only truthful information because the answer you provide will determine your coverage. Unfortunately, when it comes to insurance, not all crime scenes are created equal.

If your case is covered by insurance, it is your responsibility to look for a cleanup service company. You can also inquire from the National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards for any benefits you may be entitled to if you are a victim of a crime. The court may also order to reimburse your expenses but the money won’t be released immediately.

FAQs on Crime Scene Cleanup Services

Q: What should I look for in a crime scene cleanup company?

A: Just like any service-oriented company, you need a company with both experience and expertise. The company should be certified by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Personnel should also be well-versed in the local legislation concerning crime scene recovery and cleanup. Visit our client testimonial page to get a better understanding of Advanced Bio-Treatment’s qualifications and the full range of services we provide.

Q: What certifications should I expect from the cleanup company?

A: Never hire a company without the required certifications from relevant federal and state agencies. This is to ensure that you get the equal value of what you pay for. An unaccredited company may take shortcuts in cleaning the crime scene, thereby putting you and your family at risk.

At the very least, the company should have the following certifications:

  • Crime Scene Cleanup Decontamination (issued by the AMDECON)
  • API Worksafe
  • Odor control (issued by the IICRC)
  • Code of Safe Practices (issued by the OSHA)

Aside from these, Advanced Bio-Treatment also has a Meth Lab Decontamination certification (License #CML 0805-05).

Q: What kind of training does the cleanup specialist have?

A: Our company doesn’t deploy our technicians to the field without having completed the requisite training on cleaning and processing the crime scene. The training includes how to properly dispose of the biohazards so they don’t pose a health risk not just to the inhabitants but also the workers themselves.

The Advanced Bio-Treatment technicians also have extensive knowledge of all types of hospital-grade cleaners and how to use them in certain situations to guarantee maximum effectiveness. They will clean the area of all chemical and biological agents, as well as fingerprint dust and other substances used by law enforcement, before declaring your property cleared for occupation.

Q: I’m worried about the odor—will it ever go away?

A: Our technicians have received training at the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). We understand the theory of controlling odor, the possible sources of odor, and the equipment and chemical agents needed to address the problem. We also extensively study the biological sources of odor like blood, decomposition, fluids, urine, and waste. Using this knowledge, our technicians will ensure that all odor-causing fluids, tissues, and pathogens are removed and that your home or business is returned to its previously safe, clean condition.

Q: Do you protect my privacy?

A: The circumstances that lead to your home or business becoming a crime scene are nearly always very personal, and we understand how important it is that the details of the incident remain private. From the live operator you reach when you first call us, to the team of technicians who come to your home or business, everyone at Advanced Bio-Treatment is committed to respecting every aspect of your privacy and providing our services with complete discretion.

Q: I’m not comfortable calling my insurance adjuster—can you help me with this?

A: Indeed. Just share your insurance information with us and we will handle this task for you. We can call up your insurance adjuster to determine your coverage. We can also help you with the claim filing process.

Death Scene Cleanup Services in Baltimore, MD

Restoring your home or business to a clean, safe condition in the wake of a death is a task best left to professionals. If you are in need of death scene cleanup services in the Baltimore area, our experienced teams are ready to help. From your first call to us, which is answered by a live operator at any time of day or night, you can depend on our technicians to be fully prepared to expertly manage and clean the entire scene with the utmost professionalism and discretion.

Why death scenes can be unsafe.

If the scene of a death is left untreated for any length of time, the process of decomposition will be well underway. In the case of an unattended death that may not have been discovered for days, weeks, or even longer, this process will have contaminated a large area in your home or business. As bodily fluids and tissue break down, they can flow into flooring, furnishings, drapes, and any other materials nearby, carrying biohazards with them. These biohazards may include bloodborne pathogens, such as hepatitis, HIV, MRSA, and more, which can be harmful if they are inhaled or if direct contact is made with them. At Advanced Bio Treatment, our technicians are trained to identify materials that may be contaminated and have the skills, knowledge, and equipment needed to properly and thoroughly disinfect and deodorize them.

Our Baltimore death scene cleanup services are available around the clock.

Whether an unattended death has occurred days ago or you are in the first moments of facing a death scene cleanup, you do not have to deal with it alone. We understand that coping with a death scene is an extremely challenging emotional trauma for friends and family, and the sooner you call us to take care of the cleanup, the sooner you can focus on taking care of yourself and your loved ones.

You can reach us 24 hours a day, seven days a week, any day of the year. Our live operator will gather the needed information from you and dispatch a properly equipped cleanup team as soon as possible. We will arrive ready to provide assistance with a range of cleanup needs, including those of commercial properties. We know that when a business is the scene of a death, there are special concerns for the safety of employees and customers and an urgent need for returning the area to a clean, safe condition. With 24/7 availability to clean up your Baltimore commercial property, we can help minimize the disruption to your business.

Our Baltimore death scene cleanup services.

We strictly follow the regulations set forth by the EPA and OSHA for proper and thorough cleanup, and use only the most advanced and effective equipment, products, and methods to ensure your home or business is ready for occupancy. In addition to residential and commercial death scene cleanup services, our full range of cleanup services include blood cleanup, crime scene cleanup, suicide cleanup, biohazard waste disposal, accident and trauma cleanup, and more.

Senior Fall Leaves Bloody Trail

Blood Cleanup: Baltimore, MD

We were called in to the assisted living facility on the south side of Baltimore for a very unusual freak accident blood cleanup.

Jane D., age 89 suffered a mild heart attack earlier this morning. She had been dusting her furniture and suddenly the heart attack which caused her to fall.

When she fell she knocked her leg into her electric scooter which was parked in the living room of her 2 bedroom apartment that she shared with another lady who was out to lunch.

Apparently, part of her pant leg must have gotten caught in the electric scooter. Not only did she get cut when she fell she crawled on the floor screaming for help. She was dragging herself across the entire apartment and blood tracked wherever she went.

There was blood soaked in the carpet, on the tile and the grout. I’ve never really seen anything like it. It was quite awhile before anyone heard her.

Apparently she was trying to crawl to the cord that is used to alert help. She never reached it but one of the staff was notified by someone who had overheard her screaming and got help.

Thankfully, they were able to save her leg with no major damage although from the looks of the apartment she lost a lot of blood.
Blood cleanup scenes this bad are usually from a crime scene murder or suicide. Whew. Lots of cleanup here.

Blood cleanup must be done by professionally trained blood cleanup personnel in order to protect current and future inhabitants of a property as well as to ensure the safety of those cleaning blood scenes.

Blood cleanup involves the removal and cleaning or disposal of items that have been contaminated with body fluids, blood, or tissue matter, but does not stop there. Those trained in blood cleaning are adept at tracking down and remediating areas that have been contaminated – areas that the untrained eye would not see.

When a firearm is used, there is often as much bio-hazardous material that you cannot see as there is that is visible. For the safety of a blood cleanup technician, and of future inhabitants, it is most important that this bio-hazardous material be decontaminated as well.

Advanced Bio Treatment is the blood cleanup company that protects you and your family by doing the job with well-trained courteous employees. Whether the incident has occurred at your home, rental property or place of business, or industrial facility, you can trust our certified scene cleanup teams to do a thorough job while abiding by OSHA regulations.

If you are a family friend or relative, we can work with you as an agent so the family is saved the hardship. Or if you will not be there to shield your loved ones, we will gladly handle that for you as much as possible by handling the paperwork by fax if you prefer.

If you need blood clean-up guidance, have questions about your payment options, which crime scene clean up procedures your current insurance policy covers or require our blood cleanup services immediately, give Advanced Bio Treatment a call today.

We pay top to $500 for referrals! 800-295-1684