Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Police ID dead man found by high school students during crime class

Now just in case you thought I was too busy worrying over my tiny minor surgery on Friday to notice what was happening in the rest of the world, imagine this:,0,1618133.story?coll=sfla-news-broward

Police ID dead man found by high school students during crime class

By Akilah Johnson
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
June 6, 2006, 2:39 PM EDT

BULLETIN: FORT LAUDERDALE -- Police on Tuesday identified the body found on the north side of War Memorial Auditorium, 800 NE Eighth St., by a group of high school criminology students as David Wayne Bodie, 45, a homeless man. A preliminary investigation revealed no signs of trauma and police do not suspect foul play, said Detective Kathy Collins, police spokeswoman. An autopsy will be conducted and cause of death will be determined at that time.

Earlier story follows:

FORT LAUDERDALE -- A fake crime scene suddenly became a real one Monday when students from St. Thomas Aquinas High School's summer criminology course discovered a man's body during a field trip at Holiday Park.

The man found near the War Memorial Auditorium appears to have died of natural causes.

Still, the discovery gave 29 students in Sue Messenger's course a first-hand look at how crime scene investigators work.

"It was a good crash course," said Juan Cantor, a 15-year-old sophomore who signed up for the 13-day class because it sounded like fun. Now, he's not so sure. "I don't really think I could take finding any more dead bodies, especially if it was rotting," he said.

The man, a white male in his mid-50s who was not identified, appears to have died recently, said Fort Lauderdale Police Sgt. Andy Pallen. There were no obvious signs of foul play or trauma, he said.

For more than 20 years, Messenger has planted cardboard skeletons pocked with bullet holes, fake knives and other evidence at mock crime scenes, but never did she think the exercise would turn real.

"I think they kind of went into shock and disbelief, but also, you have to say it's completely bizarre," Messenger told South Florida Sun-Sentinel news partner WTVJ Ch-6. "I mean ... what are the odds that we would be out here?"

The body was discovered about 9:15 a.m.

"The first thing we thought was `that's a real good dummy she set up,'" Cantor said. Then they noticed that the man who was clinging to a fence had a hairy stomach that looked a little too real, he said.

Their reaction, according to Cantor: "We were all freaking out."

Copyright © 2006, South Florida Sun-Sentinel


pepektheassassin said...

Yikes! "Appears" to hsvr died of natural causes, and no "obvious" signs of foul play. Any good investigator out with a bunch of 15-yr-old sleuths should take advantage of the situation, PLANT EVIDENCE! Let them DIG! ;)

k said...

I wonder...!

I did hear the kids were doing a very serious and thorough job.

They kept telling each other what a great *dummy* the teacher had found for them.

Then someone started thinking, Maybe it was a TOO good dummy. Especially, he said, the hairy stomach.