Crime in the woods: Lindenwood students investigate simulated murder


Photo by Mia Tebbe

Forensic Anthropology students search through the woods on campus behind the president’s house on Sep. 23, in an attempt to solve a fictional murder case.

MIA TEBBE | Social Media and Community Manager

A forensic anthropology class met at the tennis courts Monday with a scenario describing a crime in the wooded area on campus behind the president’s house.

A woman was walking her dog in the woods and let the dog off the leash. The dog wandered off but came back shortly with a bone in its mouth.

The woman realized it was a human bone. She examined the area and realized more bones were scattered on the ground. She said the bones were near a metal sculpture with chains hanging off of it. 

Students were given a map of the wooded area and were divided into four groups. Within these groups, each person had a role: note-taking, evidence collection, map-making and photographer. The area was sectioned off into four quadrants and each group was responsible for searching their quadrant. Students were given flags to mark evidence as they searched.

The students climbed through thicket and brush hunting for anything that could be considered relevant evidence to the case, making sure to mark what they found. After students had searched their entire quadrant they measured, described and photographed their evidence. Students were also required to map out approximately where they found evidence and describe the location in great detail in an attempt to solve the scenario. 

Forensic Anthropology student Jessie Londono said, “[The scenario] was confusing at times, but showed us how a crime scene would typically be investigated.” 

After the search was over, the class used the given information and their own discoveries to solve the case. 

The class is co-taught by Dr. Steve Dasovich of the anthropology department and Darren Marhanka of criminal justice. 

Bones found and marked by Forensic Anthropology students during the investigation.
Photo by Mia Tebbe