(CNN) — The hunt is on for the most wanted among us. In our global era, the challenge seems broader than ever.
But along with the emergence of the worldwide manhunt, the science behind chasing criminals has evolved, too.
New technology is making it easier for police to find criminals. From your image, captured virtually everywhere, down to your fingerprint: scientific and technological advancements have given investigators more sophisticated tools to work with.
Inside the New York Police Department’s closely-guarded forensic crime lab, better development techniques in the fingerprinting field show detectives a clearer picture.
So do evolving computer programs, adding greater detail to tracing ballistic evidence.
Advances in DNA analysis are widely considered the most meaningful step forward toward solving more crimes.
But the forensics are just pieces of the increasingly elaborate puzzle.
From location data embedded in many of our digital images, to our cellphone records, electronic banking transactions and all that social media activity — it’s the indelible diary.
“If they had not planned in advance to be a fugitive and don’t have hundreds of thousand of dollars of cash, don’t have false identities, false passports that can enable them to travel award the world, having the means and ability to cross borders, they’re going to have a huge problem staying a fugitive for a real long time,” said Tom Fuentes, former FBI assistant director.
The search net is wider, sometimes global, but our communications are making suspects easier in some ways to find.
Law enforcement officials say advances in the way they can now communicate with each other, makes it even tougher to hide.
“We’re inventing new ways to talk to each other,” said Lou Palumbo, director of Elite Intelligence and Protection Agency, “to communicate with each other, to be more efficient to exchange information in general.”