KANSAS CITY, MO.—On television, most crimes are solved in about an hour. It's not that easy in real life, but some students from around the country are giving it their best shot at the Skills U.S.A. competition at Bartle Hall.
There are some 5,700 students from across the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands in town to show off their forensic skills. Area police departments put a crime scene together, leaving behind clues so that the student detectives can process the scene and collect evidence.
"The scenario they have been dispatched to is a particular address on a reported disturbance. They get here and find a male bleeding, he's transported to the hospital were he is pronounced dead from an apparent gunshot wound to the chest," said Michelle Nordyke of the Kansas City Missouri Police Department.
Students are judged by real-life C.S.I. investigators on how well they assess the scene and photograph it to depict an accurate picture of what happened.
"The scenarios are really realistic because they have stuff that you would really find in a normal crime scene, some of them have like medical waste which you would really encounter if the paramedics came," said student Stevie Suddarth.
The only thing that student's say isn't realistic is the smell of decomposing bodies.
"The blood and stuff doesn't bother me, but sometimes we have to see children and that really pulls at your heart strings. But in my opinion it's just more motivation to get out there and help solve some crimes," said student Kaela McKenzie.
McKenzie and Suddarth are two-time state champions who are hoping to land a job one day investigating crime.
"The CSI shows are not real, they are too Hollywood, so this gives them a real deal and they know for sure whether or not this is really an area they want to pursue," said Nordyke.
The competition winners will be announced on Friday at Kemper Arena.