Can You Solve the Crime?

The Florence family attempts to solve a clue while participating in the CluedUpp Santa Clarita murder mystery at Veterans Memorial Park in Newhall, Calif., on Saturday Jan. 29, 2022. Chris Torres/The Signal
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By Victor Corral Martinez

Signal Staff Writer

Dozens of amateur crime scene investigators were searching for clues to determine the death of four victims in 24 hours at the Veterans Memorial Park, all participating in a unique outdoor detective experience called “CluedUpp.”

The various “detectives” were part of a “geogaming experience” made of teams with up to six participants. The teams were given three hours to solve the crime on a recent Saturday.

Friends, co-workers and family members formed teams, dressed up and even incorporated their puppies into the process of solving the crimes. Teams were expected to combine clue-solving, code-breaking and forensic analysis to solve the murder case.

All teams purchased tickets and downloaded a mobile app to participate in the game. Awards were given for fastest team, best CSI-inspired outfit, best team picture, best team name, best young detective and best dog photo.

Michelle Reynolds saw the event shared on social media and was excited to try the game with friends. Her family and friends are fans of escape rooms and enjoy puzzles, so it was a fun opportunity to get outside.

“I saw the event listed on Facebook and I thought it would be fun to get out one day and do that. So I

gathered up some friends and came out,” she said. Reynolds said she enjoyed dressing up herself and her puppy as CSI detectives for the event. She jokingly mentioned solving the crime would take her six-member-team 40 minutes, while her group laughed.

Reynolds suggests jumping into the next event because of the fun of being outside with friends and family, solving crimes.

“It’s so inexpensive and it’s such a fun day to get out and be away from the house. Just to be around friends and try something new was fun,” Reynolds said.

Nancy Ventura was one of the newcomers to the game and was inspired to join her friend Amanda Florence, who has participated twice in previous games.

“I saw photos, and it looked like so much fun, so we decided to come up from the north-Glendale area,” Ventura said.

Prepping for the game, Ventura and Florence went to the hardware store and gathered various props for the event. Ventura, who works for a film studio, has worked on crime shows and was excited to create fun memories.

Ventura added being outdoors with friends and family is nice, especially with the COVID-19 restrictions.

“I’m new to this, and I’m really excited to participate and have fun and see what this is all about,” Ventura said.

For many teams, like Ventura and Reynolds, the experience is more important than the destination, or in this case, the crime. As a result, many don’t finish the game but enjoy the memories created with friends and family.

“We haven’t ever actually completed it,” Florence said jokingly.

For more information, visit www.cluedupp. com.

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