Bloody Footprint May Belong to Knox' s Former Boyfriend

Prosecutors cite footprints as Amanda Knox trial hits 5th month.

ByABC News
April 23, 2009, 2:08 PM

PERUGIA, Italy May 9, 2009— -- During testimony in court Friday Lorenzo Rinaldi, director of the print identity department of the Italian Police, said that a bloody footprint found on the rug in the bathroom across from the room where murdered British exchange student Meredith Kercher's body was found was compatible with that of Raffaele Sollecito.

Rinaldi also testified that two latent bare footprints highlighted by luminol, a chemical used to detect blood, are compatible with Amanda Knox's foot. Another bare footprint highlighted by luminol, found in the hallway, was positively identified as belonging to Sollecito.

Knox, 21, of Seattle, and Sollecito, 25, are on trial for the Nov. 1, 2007, murder of Knox's roommate, Kercher. Both women were studying in Italy and shared a cottage with two Italian women.

A third person, Rudi Guede, 22, has already been convicted of taking part in the murder, which prosecutors claim occurred when Kercher refused to take part in a sex game.

Sollecito and Knox maintain that the night that Kercher was murdered they were together at Sollecito's house where Knox allegedly spent the night. But if the footprint places Sollecito at the crime scene on the night of the murder it conflicts with their alibi.

When cross-examined by Sollecito's lawyer, Rinaldi said he was not an expert but that from what he knew, "luminol reacts not only to blood but also to other substances that contain iron, such as fruit juices, chlorophyll, or rust."

In a convincing presentation Rinaldi used a series of comparative photos with precise measurements projected on a screen in the courtroom to show how the bare footprints found in the house matched prints taken from the defendants' bare feet in prison.

Rinaldi also identified a series of bloody shoeprints found in the victim's room and other places in the house, as belonging to Guede.

Guede's bloody shoeprint was also positively identified on a pillow found under the victim's body. Witnesses in the trial on Friday testified that a bloody palm print of Guede was found on that same pillow.