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April 28, 2022 - BY Ruchika Dwivedi

The First Case Solved by Fingerprint

Ponciano Carballo Rojas, six years old, and his four-year-old sister Teresa Carballo Rojas were found brutally killed in their house on June 19, 1892, by 27-year-old Rojas in Necochea, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina. Francisca tried to imitate an attack by slitting her own throat and accusing her neighbor, Pedro Ramón Velázquez, of the killings. Francisca Rojas is said to be the first person in the world to be found guilty based on fingerprint evidence. By identifying Francisca Rojas' bloody fingerprints at the crime scene in 1892, Croatian-born Argentine police official Juan Vucetich assisted in the conviction of Francisca Rojas for the murder of two of her own children.

The murder was not reported until July 8, 1892, in La Plata, the provincial capital. Inspector Alvarez of the Central Police was sent to Necochea to assist local authorities in their investigation. When he arrived, he discovered that the cops had no leads. Rojas denies any involvement in the children's deaths. Velázquez also denied that the children were murdered.

Although Velázquez had an alibi, according to Alvarez, because he was out with numerous friends at the time of the murders. Rojas' other lover had also been overheard saying he would marry her according to Alvarez.

Vucetich's faith in fingerprints was confirmed when Alvarez returned to La Plata with the fingerprint-proof. The case set the framework for demonstrating the superiority of fingerprints over anthropometry for personal identification. As a result of the Rojas murders, Argentina became the first country in the world to abolish anthropometry and file its criminal records based solely on fingerprint classification. His resulting classification system is still used in many South American countries today.

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