CORINTH — As fake blood was seen splattered on the floor of a workout room, anyone walking in knew this wasn’t your typical whodunnit.
The mock murder scene was all part of the Corinth Police Department’s CSI Camp that’s wrapping up today.
The camp, now in its fifth year, is open to teens ages 13 through 17 and runs for one week in the summer. Cpl. Jason Fouch, who taught crime scene investigation to the students, said this is the largest the camp has ever been, with 20 children ages 13 and 14 attending.
“Basically the scenario is a man was murdered by another man with a dumbbell to the head, and she [a volunteer] overheard the killing while in the shower,” Lt. Jimmie Gregg said Thursday morning at the murder scene. “It’s their [the campers’] job to figure that out.”
Over the course of the week, the 10 boys and 10 girls were taught how to perform a DNA test, dust for fingerprints, cast a footprint and conduct an overall investigation.
Fouch said in recent years there was just one large mock crime scene, but since there are so many campers this year, they broke it up into three scenarios at the police department.
“Today [Thursday] we have a murder, burglary and suicide the kids are working on,” he said.
Corben Silva, 13, dusted for prints at the home burglary.
“I took one from a widow and one on a computer monitor,” said Silva, who will be attending Bettye Myers Middle School this year. “A Dell computer was stolen and we don’t know yet who did it.”
Silva said his mom volunteered at the camp last year and when he was asked if he wanted to attend since he was old enough now, he said yes.
“I am really looking forward to visiting the Denton County Jail,” he said. “ I have always wanted to see inside of a jail and what it’s like.”
Along with classroom instruction, Gregg said a pizza party is held and many field trips are taken.
“We are going to visit the jail later today, and tomorrow we will be traveling to the medical examiner’s office,” Gregg said.
The program promotes getting to know people in the community better, as well as help provide a better understanding on what police actually do.
Courtney Wilkerson, 13, said she has had a lot of fun this week and is enjoying having so many hands-on opportunities that she said aren’t generally offered in other police camps.
“I am able to see what my dad does, or used to do, since he works in an office now,” she said.
Wilkerson is the daughter of Capt. Greg Wilkerson.
Large crimes are solved in TV shows within 45 minutes and Gregg said it’s not like that at all.
“The camp provides kids a chance to see it takes a lot of time and hard work,” he said. “You don’t always make an arrest immediately.”
As for the “murder”?
Daniela Medina, 13, reported they arrested a man after he kept changing his story and was found to have blood on his finger belonging to the deceased.
“The blood splatter didn’t match up,” Adelyn Smith, also 13, said to the investigators.
Frank Graham, a Volunteer in Police Service (VIPS) member for two years, played the arrested suspect and said he enjoyed being able to help.
Gregg said the department hopes that by offering the camp, children might come back and decide to go into law enforcement one day.
“Maybe they will come back and apply here,” he said.
Registration for next year’s camp will open next spring and a waiting list of 10 to 15 children has already formed, officials said. For more information, follow the Corinth Police Department’s Facebook page or visit the city’s website at www.cityofcorinth.com.
MEGAN GRAY can be reached at 940-566-6885 and via Twitter at @MGrayNews.