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Who stole Ms. Thiele’s snake? La Jolla Elementary (bubble) gumshoes solve ‘crime’ at school

Arielle Bark tests blood samples and determines whether it clots to figure out what blood type it is.
Arielle Bark tests blood samples and determines whether it clots to figure out what blood type it is.

By Ashley Mackin

It’s elementary my dear Watson ... La Jolla Elementary School. More than 70 students gathered for a CSI workshop May 28 to help solve

the mystery of who stole the librarian’s snake.

The librarian’s snake has been petnapped!
The librarian’s snake has been petnapped!

Using clues left behind at the “crime scene,” such as a partial footprint, “blood” samples, an unknown powder and a ransom note, students practiced skills such as fingerprint comparison and process of elimination to figure out the culprit. The students were given ink samples from pens used by all four suspects, the blood types and fingerprints of each suspect, and tested material found at the crime scene to find a match.

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Mahe Farion and Devin chanda compare fingerprints from the four suspects to the ones found on the ransom note.
Mahe Farion and Devin chanda compare fingerprints from the four suspects to the ones found on the ransom note.

Before investigating the scene of the crime, students heard from San Diego Sheriff’s Department Lab Assistant Alisha Sandvig, who explained how she must use scientific skills to help solve crimes.

La Jolla Elementary School students interested in forensics listen to San Diego Sheriff’s Department Lab Assistant Alisha Sandvig talk about what she does to help solve crimes.
La Jolla Elementary School students interested in forensics listen to San Diego Sheriff’s Department Lab Assistant Alisha Sandvig talk about what she does to help solve crimes.

“Some of our students were introduced to forensics last fall through our afterschool Rendezvous Science Center program, but we found many were eager to know more,” said principal Donna Tripi. Through a grant from the Toshiba Foundation, the La Jolla Elementary School was able to bring the CSI investigation workshop — which started at Innovation Middle School — to its students.

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Arielle Bark tests blood samples and determines whether it clots to figure out what blood type it is.
Arielle Bark tests blood samples and determines whether it clots to figure out what blood type it is.

The Jolla gumshoes quickly deduced it was Ms. Thiele, the librarian herself! (Dun dun duuuuuun.) She staged the pet-napping and asked for a ransom to help raise money for the library.

Case closed.


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