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Seventh grader solves crime

8:46 AM, Aug 22, 2011   |    comments
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Jessica Maple participated in the Fulton County District Attorney's Junior DA program.

ATLANTA -- At just 12 years old, Jessica Maple feels she already has the skills of a seasoned detective.

She solved a burglary by finding clues investigators missed.

It happened while she while attending Fulton County's Junior District Attorneys Camp in July.

"We learned how to look at fingerprints and all of those things, and we visited so many places. We even did a mock trial," Jessica said. "If I didn't go to the camp, I wouldn't' have the skills to solve this crime."

She's referring to a burglary, in which all the furniture was stolen from her deceased great-grandmother's home in South Georgia last month.

Police in the town of Fitzgerald, Ga. told the Maple family they believed someone used a key to get in because they didn't see any forced entry.

But, only the family had a key. So, Jessica and her mom went to the house to look around.

"We went to the area by the garage and there was broken glass, a shopping cart and fingerprints all over the garage," said Jessica. "I don't think the detective knew what he was talking about."

She said her mother called a detective who came by and confirmed their findings, but did nothing more with the case.

"(My mom and I) went around town, and we went to a pawn shop and there was all the furniture," Jessica said. "I thought, I don't think these criminals were thinking to put all the stuff in the same place. I called the police.. and they were,' Oh, my gosh, I can't believe you found it'. And, I said, 'I did your job again'."

But, the story didn't end there. The pawn shop owner had shown them the picture ID of the person who left the furniture, so they took a drive.

"I remembered his address and remembered the guy, who I saw in the ID standing by his mother," Jessica said.

Jessica and her mother courageously talked with their 17-year-old suspect.

"At first he said he didn't' do it. And, then we kept asking him more questions and more questions and then he finally admitted it," she said.

Jessica had solved the case.

It's not surprising that Jessica has now decided she'd like to become an FBI profiler or a crime scene investigator.

"It was kind of like being in your own episode of 'CSI Miami'," Jessica said.

Except CSI Miami is a fictional program. Jessica did real detective work.

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