Cumberland Police Chief Matt Benson arrives at his office after the holidays to find a suspicious package waiting for him. There was garbage inside.
“I opened it and there were two ziplock bags inside, one half-eaten cookie and two half-eaten carrots,” Benson told Yahoo Life. Santa Claus is real.
Alongside the object: A handwritten note from the sender, 10-year-old Scarlett Demato, aspiring detective, on yellow lined paper.
It read, “Dear Cumberland Police Department.” “I took a sample of the cookies and carrots I left for Santa and his reindeer on Christmas Eve. Could you take a DNA sample to see if Santa is real?”
In just a few minutes, the package made an indelible impression on the department.
“We are humans too, and it brought a smile to our faces,” Benson says of himself and his fellow officers. I could see a certain kind of light and excitement, so we just got our heads together and decided that we needed to do something about this, we really needed to invest and make this Yes, it’s really special to her.”
Shortly after receiving the parcel, Benson launched a full-scale investigation, released a statement to the media about the situation (Dumaat’s name redacted), and announced other aliases for Santa, “Chris Kringle” and “St Nicholas”. mentioned.
In a press release, CPD confirmed that it had sent the evidence, including surveillance images of the reindeer nearby that night extracted from a nearby camera, to the state’s forensic department for further testing.
However, unbeknownst to Benson, Doumat was involved in the case long before the police intervened.
“Two years ago my dad tried to catch Santa,” Doumato told Yahoo Life. “He pulled out his phone, and when I saw it the next morning, it looked almost photoshopped. I was suspicious.”
Doumato attributes her curiosity to the long hours she spent watching detective shows with her father (her favorite is Monk). Those instincts were put to the test on the morning of December 25, 2022 when they discovered that the baby carrots and cookies they had left for Santa and his nine reindeer the night before had been half-eaten. I was. by whom? she wondered. And can their DNA be traced?
“If it’s Santa is not Who really puts presents under the tree?” she asks.
Like Doumato, Benson, who dreamed of becoming a detective from a young age, insists it’s all a good question.
“She’s got me a spade,” he says. “She’s way ahead of me at that age. I mean, this was something I always wanted to do, but she took it to another level. This is what she wants to do.” Yes, she’s really working on her craft and really personally invested in it.”
Benson says the industry needs more people like Doumato.
“This girl has a passion for truth and a passion for answers, and at such a young age,” he says. If I didn’t support it, if I didn’t encourage it, and if I and my staff didn’t, then I would have taken my short distance from the situation. Given that, we didn’t lag behind and didn’t invest in it.”
Since then, the viral investigation has turned into a family affair. Scarlett’s mother, Alison Deumat, is rooting for her daughter’s dream of becoming a detective.
“Let children be who they are,” she told Yahoo Life. We have to give them what they need to keep going.”
Results are inconclusive
As soon as the public became aware of the investigation, Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee confirms The state health department was in a “rush” to provide results, but oddly enough, the results turned out to be inconclusive.
“Unfortunately there was no perfect match,” the health ministry confirmed in a tweet. Interestingly, they say, “partially coincident with his 1947 case centered on his 34th Street in New York City.”
“Curiously, scientists have discovered presence DNA that closely matches Rangeier tarandus, more commonly known as reindeer,” it concluded, adding, “definitely confirms or refutes the existence of Santa. I can’t, but they “agree” there might be something magical at work. ”
The Department of Health’s message, which Benson confirmed was not coordinated in collaboration with the Cumberland Police Department, was not well received by investigators.
“Their decision was that it was inconclusive,” Benson says. “It’s not good enough for me.”
Benson told Yahoo Life that on Monday officers brought in a person they believed to be a match for the suspect for questioning. “Old man, red suit, red hat, white beard”
“We tracked down the person. He was at our station yesterday and had some questions,” he said, adding that the suspect was acting “in full cooperation” with police. rice field.
“We have evidence from other neighbors to release and some footage of the area,” Benson adds. “We got it from many different angles. We’re not happy with the definitive results from the state, so we’re going to keep moving forward.”
Domoto hasn’t given up either. In fact, she is currently trying to solve another big mystery. “Me and my friends are trying to figure out what happened to Amelia and her Earhart.”
This investigation is ongoing…
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