I first heard about the CSI Academy from Derek Schmidt, a fellow instructor
and former coworker at the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office. The
idea he presented to me sounded amazing. A place where we, as instructors,
could bring the students to the crime scene instead of just reading about
the topic in a book and viewing someone else’s photographs. Talk
about the ultimate hands on experience!
I began my forensic career in 2003 as a Crime Scene Investigator at ACSO
encompassing a multitude of responsibilities including Training Officer
for new hire investigators, providing continuing education for the Patrol
Division, and in 2007 receiving my certification as a FDLE Criminal Justice
In 2010, I accepted an opportunity to work at the University of Florida,
first as a Veterinary Forensic Analyst through a joint venture between
UF and the ASPCA and currently, as a Chemist in Dr. Bruce Goldberger’s
forensic toxicology laboratory.
I am still an adjunct instructor at the Santa Fe College police academy,
teaching recruits basic crime scene investigation and death investigation,
as well as participating in career days throughout Alachua County at elementary,
middle, and high schools.
I frequently get asked about interesting cases I have been involved with
and I always recount my first few days on the job. I was assisting with
a homicide investigation where a body was found inside a trash can, it
was later determined that he had been there for over six months. My Sergeant
told me if I could handle that, I could handle any crime scene.
In my non-forensic life, I enjoy spending time with my family: my husband
Frank is a Sergeant in the ACSO Patrol Division, and our two young children,
Avery and Connor. My husband and I just finished our ninth mud run and
we have two planned for this fall. I enjoying working out and have recently
started Crossfit. I love the challenges that each WOD brings as well as
knowing that I have participated in something that is bigger than me.
It’s the same way that I feel about being involved in forensic sciences.
That being said, I’ll leave you with this: “The real reason
why Crossfit gyms have chalk? So they can outline where the bodies fell. “