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Digital Media Help Detectives Solve Crimes

DENVER (CBS4)- Cellphones, iPads, iPods, tablets and computers play a bigger role in our everyday lives as each week passes. Digital media including surveillance video, pictures and text messages are helping detectives solve crimes.

The only school in the country helping to train detectives in media forensics is on the University of Colorado Denver campus. It's the National Center for Media Forensics.

"Media forensics is the analysis of audio and video recording that have been entered into evidence," said CU Denver Media Forensics Professor Jeff Smith.

Smith said the technology is in high demand by law enforcement. Data collected from phones, pictures, computers and video helps detectives not only investigate but authenticate what is the truth.

"Find out more about where a person's alibi stands up," said Smith.

Scientists can help determine if someone has digitally altered a picture, what a text message reads even after it is deleted, which location a call was made and even the true time stamp on a video clip.

"We can find it in most of the nowadays audio and digital recordings," said Nat'l Center for Media Forensics Dir. Catalin Grigoras.

Grigoras can't discuss much about the casework they do with many law enforcement agencies.

An audio clip from a Denver Police homicide case shows where the suspect confessed on tape after detectives left the room. The suspect's confession wasn't heard until the audio was cleaned up and the suspect is clearly heard stating, "I did it."

The masters program at CU Denver is the only one in the country. The university also offers a certification program.

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