IREDELL — Alexis and Julie Truesdell recently represented the Scotland County 4-H program in Iredell while gaining hands-on experience solving a mock hit-and-run murder case.
The Truesdells joined forces with 45 other 4-Her’s from Alexander, Catawba, Iredell, Lincoln and Mecklenburg counties at this year’s Iredell County Cooperative Extension three-day camp.
“The murder case was actually based off of a true story, but the name was changed,” said Angela Galloway, 4-H Extension Agent. The case involved a businessman, husband and father who was killed in 1906 in a hit-and-run accident in Buffalo, NY. Police never solved the crime.
The camp collaborated with local agencies including the Iredell Police Department, the State Law Enforcement Division, Iredell County Jail and Court System and Mitchell Community College to solve the case. The children were given a tour of both the jail and the community college where they participated in a replicated law enforcement training.
“The youth worked in teams, utilizing deductive reasoning skills gained through reading and math competencies, to process the evidence from the crime scene and to narrow the list of suspects,” said Angela D. Galloway, an advisor for the Scotland 4H.
During the recreation of the crime the 4-Her’s examined bed sheets that displayed simulated blood droplets and blood spatter. They were also exposed to various forensic tools such as fingerprint examination, impression analysis of tires and shoes, hair studies, and blood typing with synthetic blood.
By utilizing various 21st century techniques and engaging in hands-on experiential forensic activities, the children were able to solve the cold case and determine who the murderer was.
“After experiencing this camp, I am confident the youth of Scotland County would greatly benefit from this collaborative opportunity,” Galloway said. “I look forward to working with our volunteers, local government and the school system to explore implementing this program in the near future.”
For information about Scotland County 4-H, contact Galloway at 910-277-2422 or [email protected]