Documents obtained from a source close to the Caldor Fire investigation reveal DNA, which may belong to Travis Shane Smith, was found in the vicinity of what Special Agents are calling the “General Origin Area.” The documents appear to be authored by the El Dorado County District Attorney’s office as part of their motion to set bail for David and Travis Smith on December 9, 2021.
The text states that Travis Shane Smith called 911 at 6:50 p.m. on August 14, 2021 to report a wildfire in “the Caldor area near Grizzly Flats.” Emergency services were soon dispatched and USDA Special Agents later determined a “General Origin Area (GOA) of the fire, which was located near a swimming hole south of the Cosumnes River.” It was in the General Origin Area, according to the documents, that the Special Agents found a pair of earplugs.
The documents claim the earplugs were subsequently analyzed for possible DNA evidence and that the lab results identify Travis Shane Smith as a “potential contributor of the DNA.” This would mean that Travis Shane is included (not excluded) as a potential match:
When the results obtained from the standard sample from a known individual are all consistent with or are all present in the results from the unknown crime scene sample, then the results are considered an inclusion or nonexclusion. The term “match” is also commonly used when the test results are consistent with the results from a known individual. That individual is included (cannot be excluded) as a possible source of the DNA found in the sample. Often, statistical frequencies regarding the rarity of the particular set of genetic information observed in the unknown evidence sample and for a known individual are provided for various population groups.National Institute of Justice
It should be noted in addition to the earplugs, several witnesses claim to have seen both David Smith and Travis Smith in the vicinity of where the fire allegedly began on August 14, 2021. Some of these witnesses have told investigators of interactions they had with the Smiths both before and after the fire began. I am authoring a blog post with more on these witness’ accounts and hope to publish shortly.
I reached out to Travis Shane Smith’s defense attorney, Mark Reichel, for comment on this story. He stated in his reply, “Based upon all of the recent developments in ‘DNA transference’ detection techniques, everyone now knows DNA is no longer the evidentiary tool it once was. They are very much 100 innocent.”