Waynesburg Forensic Science Students Aid in Arson Investigation
Have you ever watched CSI and thought: “I could do that”?
Have you ever sat in your recliner with a bag of chips, watching the characters uncovering the crime scene, and tried to solve the investigation before the show reveals the ending?
If you answered yes to these questions, then Waynesburg University may be the place to test your abilities.
Earlier this week, four Waynesburg forensic science students accepted the challenge to live out their own CSI moments when they were called by the Maltase Fire Investigation http://www.maltasefire.com/ to help investigate the source of a local house fire.
Seniors Stephanie Yocca, Jennifer Miller, Cory Briendel and junior Drew Heinle dug through layers of ashy debris in search of any electrical appliances that could have potentially ignited the flames.
Like the actors in CSI, minus the Hollywood theatricals and glamour, the students sifted through the scene, locating and documenting every appliance they found. Every suspected culprit was then handed off to an electrical engineer for x-rays who will determine whether there were any faulty parts present.
While the students await the news of whether it was a lamp, toaster, computer or an unidentified device that set the house ablaze, Professor Michael Cipoletti, Assistant Professor and Program Director of Forensic Sciences, claims the real-life experience was invaluable.
“Although the University is good at providing realistic mock scenes on campus with our Crime Scene Investigation Center, we aren't going to set it on fire,” said Cipoletti. “Here the students got to experience an actual scene under difficult, real conditions, and learn from a professional investigator first-hand.”
So next time you find yourself trying to solve the latest crime scene mystery from your couch, think about your future and what you could be doing with your own investigation skills.
Are you up for the challenge?