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Chesapeake students try to find phony criminal

Kara Bennett plays a character who finds a disturbing clue during a forensic play at Chesapeake Middle School.

CHESAPEAKE — It was a budding online romance that went bad. Very bad. Poor Stacy goes off to meet at a coffee shop the guy she has already met through the Internet. It became a decision with dire consequences.

In a scream, Stacy is abducted. Seven years later, a jogger finds her bones in a pile of autumn leaves.

Fortunately, this scenario is fictional and the brainchild of talented and gifted student Kara Bennett of Chesapeake Middle School. But it was the starting point for this year’s CMSI or Chesapeake Middle School Investigators.

On Thursday and Friday the TAG students presented their skit to their classmates and then invited the other classes to come up with the identity of the villain. They did this by offering a variety of sessions that delved into the forensic sciences and providing clues along the way.

“Teaching forensics takes in so many different things,” Terry Montgomery, Chesapeake TAG teacher, said. “It involves math, science, reading and writing. There’s art when they do facial reconstruction and math with bullet trajectory and blood splatter patterns.”

Forensic sessions that the TAG students conducted included handwriting analysis, footprints and tire treads, interrogation and forensic anthropology.

Preparing for the sessions also may have inspired a career path for some of the students.

“A lot of us are interested in this,” Bennett said. “I want to help find the criminals.”