AFP forensics called to solve Christmas mystery

AFP forensic experts are releasing details of a previously classified investigation into the mystery of the ‘night before Christmas’.

The investigation started after curious Australian children who woke to a clatter on Christmas Eves’ past, referred the matter to the AFP in the hope its world-class forensic team could shed light on the centuries-old mystery of who had been inside their homes.

Members of the AFP have worked through the night for the past few Christmas Eves, responding to reports of the miracle happening and gathering evidence from around Australia.

Senior Forensic Officer Kate Campbell said investigating the case had been a cracker.

“The AFP wants to thank the children of Australia for being our eyes and ears on the ground and alerting us to scenes where the miracle had just occurred,” she said.

“For centuries, children have woken on Christmas morning to find stockings stuffed with toys and new presents under the tree despite their houses being locked through the night.

“Witnesses have often described the same items of evidence being found at the scene including boot prints.

“Children started to leave carrots, biscuits and milk out in the hope the mystery visitors would stay longer and they would wake and see them.

“While we are not aware of any child successfully laying eyes on the visitors, the items they starting leaving out can provide a treasure trove of evidence for a skilled investigator.”

“Normally this evidence is corrupted as the Christmas festivities take hold but for the first time, the AFP has been quick enough to seal off the scenes and collect vital clues into just what happens on Christmas night.”

Forensics members collected samples of white hair, a boot print, fingerprints from leftover milk glasses and cookies, carrot with bite marks, a Christmas gift and a hand-written document with unknown list of names reading, “naughty” or “nice”.

The forensics team carefully gathered the evidence and headed to the lab were they were able to use their expertise to subject it to further analysis.

A witness named ‘T. Grinch’ has also provided a statement to investigators after seeing a person fly away from the scene on a sleigh driven by what appeared to be reindeers.

Following the successful examination, the AFP Melbourne Forensics team present their findings in a behind the scenes exclusive.

HAIR SAMPLE: White hair samples found at the bottom of the multiple chimneys in recent years had similar characteristics to a previous sample collected on Christmas Eve 2001. The microscopic examination of the hair follicle and hair shaft suggests the sample is more likely beard hair rather than head hair.

BOOT PRINT: Footprint dusting at more than 300 scenes revealed an identical heavy boot print always containing a black substance similar to chimney soot. Foot size was identified as a male 7… or women’s 9.5.

MILK & COOKIES: Leftover cookies were retrieved from the scene and brought back to the lab for alcohol testing. The testing came back with negative results, clearing accusations of Santa flying his sleigh under the influence.

Fingerprint dusting on the glass of milk revealed two different prints: red matched for Santa while green for matched T.Grinch. The AFP is further investigating alleged evidence tampering…

CARROTS: Carrots with animal bite marks were measured at the lab. Teeth marks indicted a match similar to a deer. Further examination confirmed reindeer bite marks and two unnamed reindeers were later interviewed at AFP HQ.

CHRISTMAS GIFT & LIST: A Christmas gift was uncovered and tested by geomatics using a special print x-ray machine. The gift was cleared and did not contain explosive devices. Not wanting to spoil someone’s Christmas gift, forensics will not reveal what the gift contained.

AFP forensics can, at this point in the investigation, confirm that a single person is believed responsible for delivering all the presents to children around the world on Christmas Eve.

It’s believed he’s a male with a beard as white as snow, a broad face and little round belly. He wears a red and white suit covered with traces of ashes and soot.

It’s believed his name is ‘Santa Claus’ however he uses a number of aliases including St Nick and Father Christmas.

The AFP is aware of his location however due to privacy laws can only reveal that it is in the vicinity of the North Pole.

A mysterious document with unknown names was also found at the premises. The names have been run through a forensics database with extensive matches. Unfortunately, without surnames, the AFP cannot confirm if Anna, Milly, James, Laura, Oliver, Lucy or Charlie, will receive coal this year.

While the AFP Forensic team is proud of the progress they have made on this case they will not rest until the mystery is solved and will be out in force again tomorrow night looking to gather more evidence.

Learn more about AFP Forensics capabilities:

From humble beginnings to world leading: History of AFP Forensics

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AFP DNA program to help identify unknown and missing Australians

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