State v. Hartley, 212 N.C. App. 1 (May. 17, 2011)

A rectal swab taken from the victim was properly authenticated. An officer processed evidence at the crime scene, was present for the victim’s autopsy, and obtained evidence from the doctor who performed the autopsy, including the rectal swabs, on 24 June 2004. The swabs were then placed in the custody of the Sheriff’s Office. They were submitted to the SBI for analysis and later returned to the Sheriff’s Office where they were kept until the time of trial. The court rejected the defendant’s argument that the chain of custody was insufficient because the swabs were taken on 19 June 2004, but were not picked up by the officer until 24 June 2004, concluding that there was no reason to believe that the evidence was altered and the possibility that it was tampered with is remote.