His lawyer confirmed before the appearance that the memory card was out.
Whether any data on the ingested smart card can be salvaged will depend on how badly digestive acids and body salts have corroded the device, British Columbia Institute of Technology forensics expert Dave McKay, co-ordinator for BCIT's forensic science and technology degree program explained.
"The nice thing about the storage cards that were probably used . . . is that they don't have a lot of moving parts, like a memory drive, so there is less likelihood of mechanical destruction that would void recovery of any information from the card itself," said McKay, who also served as a civilian RCMP forensic investigator from 2003 to 2008, specializing in video forensics.
But working against them is the possibility of corrosion.
"On a lot of the cards, the interface of the devices uses little copper strips, so there could be a concern based on the human body, how acidic it is, and how much salt there would be in their system, because that could corrode the card and cause a lot of damage," he said.
Even so, a damaged card could still likely yield some recorded data, he stressed.
"It's not an all-or-nothing thing. The data is stored on individual memory cells, so you could have a few cells that are completely corrupt, but could still have other cells that you could recover information from."
Once the card is "retrieved," MacKay said, the first thing forensic investigators would want to do would be to flush and clean it with distilled water as best they could, then further treat it with a high-concentration alcohol solution, and finally, dry it slowly at low temperature to avoid heat damage. Once the card is dry, they could begin attempting data recovery.