CSI: Northern Lights College solves the crime

DAWSON CREEK ? The inaugural summer camp for crime investigators ? CSI: NLC ? has been deemed a success by organizers.

Northern Lights College criminology instructor Tanya Helton coordinated the weeklong camp ? along with Dawson Creek RCMP Staff Sergeant Stephen Grant. The camp attracted seven participants to the College?s Dawson Creek campus.

The camp opened with participants arriving at a ?crime scene? that had been established in a classroom in the basement of the Campus Center building.

Obviously, no real crime had been committed.

Instead, Helton and Grant had put in several hours creating a realistic looking scene that included dried blood, beer and wine bottles, a broken glass and other items that may or may not have been clues to what happened.

Throughout the week, campers were provided with ?police updates? on potential suspects and the possible victim, before the ?body? of the ?murder victim? eventually was discovered.

As well, the participants underwent an introduction to forensic investigation techniques, including protecting the crime scene, collecting evidence, fingerprinting, footwear impressions, and blood spatter and DNA analysis.

?By the end of the week, participants confirmed that a murder had taken place, identified four suspects, and then confirmed the identity of the murderer by DNA analysis which also exonerated the other suspects,? Helton said.

?Bloody boots and the axe used in the commission of the crime were also located and footprint and fingerprint analysis from these items confirmed that the accused was at the scene of the crime.?

Helton already has plans underway for next year?s camp, which will be held at the Fort St. John campus, July 7-11, 2008. Next year?s camp will have a different storyline, and will be open to participants in grade eight and older.

For more information, contact Tanya Helton at 1-866-463-6652 or 785-6981, or thelton@nlc.bc.ca.