CPD cadets recall helping in double homicide investigation at lo - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

CPD cadets recall helping in double homicide investigation at local cemetery

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

It's been three days since the Chattanooga Police Department announced their investigation of a double homicide at Highland Memorial Gardens. 

On Tuesday morning, two bodies were found at the cemetery located on Shepherd Road. 

Investigators marked off the cemetery and surrounding properties. They explained that because the crime scene was so large, 34 Chattanooga Police Academy cadets and federal agents were called in to help search for evidence. Police officials said the cadets did in 30 minutes, what would have taken investigators hours to do. 

Cadet Krista King, who joined the CPD academy after teaching kindergarten for seven years, said it was an experience she will never forget. 

"Usually were in the classroom learning academics because it's really important for us to get our basics in. So we were all excited to help the community," said King. "I was a little bit nervous because it was my first experience with something that horrific, but I was also excited that they trusted me enough to take me out there." 

Cadet Adisa Abiose said when they got to the crime scene at Highland Memorial Gardens they were told not to take any pictures, not to touch anything and to ask questions. 

"The officers in charge told us exactly what we needed to do; line up and just search about a six to eight foot area, looking for anything that would catch the eye. Anything that would cause suspicion or cause concern," said Abiose. 

It's not often you hear of cadets on the scene of death investigations, but a spokesperson for CPD tells Channel 3, the department tries to provide cadets that experience at least once during their training. 

Traditional cadets have to complete a 22 week program with 16 weeks of field training; 34 cadets are currently undergoing the program. The department's lateral academy also has 34 cadets. It's a 4-10 week course with only 2-6 weeks of field training after. 

Officials said the cadets did not find any evidence. However, it was helpful because it let investigators know that there was no evidence to be found in that area.

READ MORE | UPDATE: Police consider double homicide to be gang-related

Some of the cadets said the experience is motivation to endure the training in hopes to one day protect and serve.

"Brushing shoulders and speaking with other individuals from other departments; SWAT, special victims, narcotics. I'm able to say okay, once I do my three years I can then branch off into here," said Abiose. 

"They're already teaching us so many things that we need to know and so they already have confidence in us and that really helps," said King. "I already have my eyes set on the special victims unit so I'm going to forward my education and continue to get better every day so that maybe they'll invite me into that department." 

Police are still investigating the double homicide at Highland Memorial Gardens. If you have any information you're asked to call CPD's new homicide tip line at 423-643-5100. 

For more information about the CPD academy, click here

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