Evidence lights the way at forensics camp
Published 10:31 pm Thursday, June 26, 2014
At one of four “crime scenes” on Hall Avenue on Thursday, Hunter Caron was among a group of teens picking through evidence after a bank robbery.
“We haven’t been able to tell yet,” the Forest Glen Middle School rising eighth-grader said of the source of the blood on the floor.
Caron, Smithfield High School student Rachel Henk and rising King’s Fork High School ninth-grader Lamont Jones numbered the evidence, also including a pistol, and took detailed notes and measurements.
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Little did they know that the mock crime was connected to another one a different group of students was investigating outside the Suffolk Health and Human Services Building.
“This vehicle was found here early this morning, and the police department was called,” Bert Nurney said.
Together with Wayne Hall, Nurney was a volunteer instructor on the Suffolk Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Forensics Camp mock crime scenes from the Isle of Wight Sheriff’s Office.
Other volunteers were Joan Turner, community outreach coordinator with the attorney’s office, and Suffolk Deputy Sheriff Debbie Callis.
The five-day camp involved a theory component on Monday through Wednesday, with Suffolk prosecutors James Wiser, Will Jamerson and Vaughn Breedlove explaining how evidence is used to solve crimes and punish perpetrators.
It concludes Friday with presentations by camp participants and presentations of awards and certificates, said Phil Ferguson, Suffolk commonwealth’s attorney.
“We try to teach them what forensic evidence is all about,” Ferguson said. “It’s something they may or may not get in the classrooms at school.
“Some of the students become very interested in either in the forensics area or the legal area, and want to go into one of those two fields.”
At one of the other “crime scenes,” rising John F. Kennedy Middle School eighth-grader James Boze was bagging evidence. “We know there was a fight here, so we are bagging up the bloody shirt,” he said. “We found a knife in the potted plant.”
Back at the abandoned vehicle — the bank robber’s getaway car — Raven John, a rising eight-grader at John Yeates Middle School, said, “We found a victim, but we don’t know who the victim is. We found a car, but we don’t know (from) where or when it was stolen.”
Forensic evidence would provide the answers.