Girl Scouts study “Bob”, a forensic facial reconstruction mannequin, while learning about the science of crime scene investigation during a CSI Roswell camp, Tuesday. (Mark Wilson Photo)
Bloody footsteps through the kitchen of the Girl Scouts Service Center led a gaggle of budding investigators to a shocking crime scene two alien balloons were murdered Monday night while the pink and purple couple were watching a movie and eating goldfish crackers.
It was up to the Girl Scouts of the Desert Southwest to crack the case of â€œwhodunnitâ€ on Tuesday using the training they received Monday from the Roswell Police Department, New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department and a local Neighborhood Watch group.
â€œThereâ€™s lipstick on this cup!â€ Lorena Fierro, 12, told the others as she was looking for clues in the kitchen.
â€œWe need a photographer,â€ another young investigator yelled into the adjoining room. The three-day camp, CSI: Roswell, was intended to teach the girls in Chaves County about careers in investigations, pathology and law enforcement, according to Christi Patton, program director.
Patton said one aspect of the Girl Scouts mission is to build skills for success in the real world. â€œPart of what we do is we teach leadership skills, and we look at different fields of careers they can go into,â€ Patton said, adding that the focus this year was on science, technology, math and engineering.
On Monday, the RPD taught the girls how to process and analyze fingerprints, while a Neighborhood Watch group took their mug shots and gave a short speech about public safety.
Investigators from CYFD and deputies from the Chaves County Sherif fâ€™s Of fice talked about their careers, and a former lawyer with the district attorneyâ€™s office is slated to speak today about how to prosecute cases.
The 10 Girl Scouts treated the alien murder mystery like a true crime scene investigation. They each had a designated job â€” medical examiner, forensic scientist, police, photographer and investigatorâ€” and they marked off the crime scene with yellow tape, located the bodies and murder weapon, collected evidence by dusting for fingerprints and traces of lipstick and blood, examined the balloon body in a makeshift morgue and analyzed the evidence in a science laboratory.
â€œLooks like she got stabbed around here,â€ adult leader Katy Garrison told the group gathered around a table, pointing to the chest of the pink alien balloon. â€œI need a bag,â€ Wendy Hobbs, 9, said as she extracted â€œblood,â€ which was chocolate syrup and red dye, from the balloon.
Garrison, who has been in Girl Scouts for the past 12 years, says she remembers doing the same crime scene investigation camp when she was younger.
â€œI think the girls are really having a blast with the murder scene,â€ Garrison said. â€œThat brought a lot of memories back of when I did it.â€ Patton said after the fake murder scene, the Girl Scouts would use tomatoes to analyze different structures of DNA, rebuild a forensic facial reconstruction mannequin and watch videos about people who work in the forensic science field.
â€œTheyâ€™re learning a whole lot,â€ Patton said. â€œSomething I am trying to do is more programs in the science field.â€