All the Evidence Points to Preston Lowe

Posted by Monica Hoel
Preston Lowe swears he doesn’t drive a fancy sports car and wear aviator sunglasses with reflective lenses that he can whip off his face when making a revealing statement about evidence. But he is a forensic scientist for the FBI.

More specifically he is a physical scientist in the FBI’s only laboratory in Quantico. He has had many titles over his 22 years with the bureau, including a stint as an agent in the field. He says he enjoyed the experience as an agent, but in the end, the E&H chemistry major missed being directly involved with evidence. He has also had the role of being an expert trial witness for the paints and polymers section of the chemistry unit.

These days he is specifically responsible for the intake, processing and cataloging of evidence as it comes in from FBI field offices or state and local police offices. Preston handles a different case every hour of the day as he decides which scientist needs to receive each piece of evidence. Part of that decision process has to do with parceling out items in the correct order. For instance, evidence that is fragile or the most transient (like fibers and hairs) would need to be examined first. The lab processes the evidence, prepares a report and then returns it to the contributing agency so they can have what they need for a court trial.

And while this current assignment may sound like a lot of administrative work, it actually allows Preston to feel even more connected to lab work than ever – because he is working with every aspect of every lab in the facility.

Preston doesn’t usually know the backstory of a case or the ultimate outcome; he says his entire concern and professional goal is about making sure the evidence that passes across his desk is handled with the greatest integrity. So while there may not be a television crime show about physical scientists, we secretly think he may have a pair of aviator shades hiding in his desk drawer.

  • Preston Lowe, Emory & Henry Class of 1996, with one of his adopted Greyhounds, Strummer.

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