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CSI: Andalusia Elementary

Is it a murder? Who is the killer? Was it a man or a woman? Is it really Diet Coke? What really happened?

These are questions fifth graders at Andalusia Elementary School will know the answers to come Friday as they participate in mock crime scene investigation.

All week long, the fifth graders are taking part in a mock crime scene investigation consisting of gathering evidence at a crime scene, interviewing suspects, conducting forensic experiments and a trial on Friday.

On Monday, the students gathered evidence at what was perceived to be a murder in order to gain a better understanding of how crime science investigation and forensics works.

AES science teacher Deb Hughes set up the crime science, which included footprints, a red substance, what appears to be Diet Coke, the location of where the victim died and other evidence for the students to observe and record data.

The crime scene was divided into eight different sections and each group took a section.

“This is the only day they will have to gather evidence. There is important evidence in each quadrant,” said AES science teacher Deb Hughes. “I explained to them if there was a crime scene at a local jewelry store, the police and investigators would collect evidence and then life would go back to normal.”

While Hughes said the students think it’s a murder, they aren’t 100 percent sure at this point.

Hughes encouraged the students not to jump to conclusions.

“Let’s just gather the facts,” she said.

Students gathered evidence and made observations to try and figure out what really happened.

“We found out they used black paint right before we got here,” said Mary Morgan Pierce. “It was still wet.”

Another group developed the hypothesis that said the victim was smothered because they found a towel with the initials “KG” on it. “We think someone smothered the victim with a towel,” said Branston Wallace.

There is a “Kendra Goode” on their footprint comparison list.

The students examined the footprints left at the scene and tried to match them with footprints on the comparison list.

“We found a pair of beach sandals, which are a men’s size 10,” said Taylor Walker. “We think he got murdered by someone with a dog.”

“We’ve narrowed it down to Felix Navidad, we think,” said Kendrick Brown.

But, there are several sets of footprints in the crime scene, so students have to challenge of figuring out how each set of footprint correlates to the crime scene.

Riley Dubose and Sim Bowden said they believed the blood was beginning to clot.

“It’s 55 degrees in this room.” Dubose said. “We think it’s been about an hour or so since the murder.”

Other observations included a clock with a dent in it, which was stuck on 2:05 p.m.

While most of the students think it was a murder, Jachen Hartz, pointed out perhaps it was a suicide.