ANDERSON, S.C. (WSPA) – Progressive Composite Sketching is the art of drawing an image of a suspect using witness recollection. The drawing process can take up to two hours or more. 

According to the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, Lieutenant Todd Caron, the top four features victims or bystanders should pay attention to are a person’s eyes, nose, mouth and hair. Descriptions can also be as specific as the lines on someone’s face. 

“A lot of times if someone can’t remember, we’ll try to go over some things to help them remember. We have them close their eyes and picture back. When things like this happen such as traumatic events, people get what’s called a flashbulb memory. They’ll have almost like a polaroid or an instant polaroid of what happened,” said Lt. Caron. 

Sergeant Juvan Mitchell said the accuracy of the image depends on the information given by the victim or witness. 

“If they are really detailed on a description such as eyebrows or their nose and lighting that is a very big thing. If it occurred at night or during the day then the shadow of that face could change,” Sgt. Mitchell. 

The artists are trained to recognize when a person is being deceitful.

After the sketch is completed, it is sent to law enforcement agencies. The agency will then generate a photo lineup and show a series of photographs to the witness or victim. 

The Anderson County Sheriff’s Office said composite sketching is only used when surveillance footage is blurry or unavailable and also when other witnesses come forward to testify.