The crime scene is a hotel room in Dauphin County. Investigators gather around the bloody and battered body of a woman. A knife is nearby.
But this not a real crime scene. It's a mock one, meant to train coroners and law enforcement officials from Pennsylvania and Maryland.
They gathered at a Dauphin County hotel today for the end of a three-day course on the preservation and management of death scenes.
For the training, three rooms at the hotel were transformed into crime scenes. Participants were given the chance to sharpen their evidence collection skills. They also learned the best way to get fingerprints off of a body.
“I thought it was a good course because it brought law enforcement and coroners together,” said Dauphin County Deputy Coroner Tommy Reinhard. “It gives me a better understanding of what the detectives jobs are to taylor my investigation around them.”
The course was offered by an intelligence project, MAGLOCLEN, and the nonprofit William Burnham Jr. Death Scene Awareness Project.
Midstate mother Nancy Burnham-Kreiner started the project, which bears her murdered son's name. Burnham-Kreiner said the person accused of his 2006 murder was not convicted.
“I wanted to make sure law enforcement and coroners had the tools they needed to manage and process their death scenes so all the evidence can be presented to obtain conviction in future cases,” said Burnham-Kreiner.
Another section of this course is being held in September at the Harrisburg Area Community College's Law Enforcement Center. You can find more information at http://www.deathsceneawareness.org/