Forensics class investigates mock crime scene
December 12, 2017
Yellow caution tape was strewn about a classroom at Douglas High School last Thursday for a mock crime scene investigation Kim Tretton's forensics class was working on. The classroom was the scene of a student on student shooting due to leaked photos circulating the school.
Tretton teams up with the Douglas County Sheriff's office Investigations Division to put on the mock crime scene every year. This year, Sgt. Ron Elges, an investigator with Douglas County was helping the students with the crime scene. He acted as the head supervisor, walking the students through the scene and giving them the basic idea of what may have happened.
"Its amazing how much they know," Elges said. "They know the basics and how to process a scene."
The class split up into two teams that investigated two different scenes. The students were given different roles, like photographer and team leader. Alexa Moss and Hannah Denhoff were both photographers who took photos of the scene and took measurements and noted details.
"It is really nice having DCSO here to help, said Denhoff. "It makes it seem real."
Lauren Wilsey was one of the team leaders, or head investigators. She said she couldn't imagine how difficult it would be to investigate a scene such as the mock scene in real life.
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"I can't imagine how difficult this would be to deal with in real life with real dead bodies, I don't think I could do it," Wilsey said.
Madison Christensen was the other head investigator. Her role was to oversee everything and make sure everything is organized and running smoothly.
"It is refreshing not to just sit in class," Christensen said. "I am glad we get the opportunity to do something 'hands on.'"
Christensen said the "hands on" aspect of the class had her considering pursuing a future in crime scene investigating.
"I've thought about doing this in real life," Christensen said. "The hands on experience makes it so much more interesting. You really feel the pressure in a good way."
Tretton said the students collect evidence from the scene and then present it in about a week as a portfolio. They must also present their final findings and results.