Breck’s Jr. Detectives are sleuthing, dissecting and learning with the pros 

There’s a sticky mystery afoot in Summit County: Who ate my ice cream sundae? 

“We had chocolate footprints, we had banana peels, we had a spoon and a bowl that was half empty with chocolate syrup everywhere,” says Carlena Ceccon. 

By day she’s an evidence supervisor with Summit County Sheriff’s Office. 

“Everything from body cams to crime scenes to evidence management, digital evidence photography,” she says. 

But by night, she’s leading the new Junior Detectives program in Breckenridge. 

“I was trying to think, ‘How can I help?’” she tells Krystal 93 news director Phil Lindeman. “After-school programs, and they needed more of them. They had the space, but they didn’t have the staff.” 

Junior Detectives launched last year with the “sundae mystery” at local summer camps, like Frisco Fun Club. 

“And in every single one, the kids came up with the suspect,” Ceccon says, bragging on her proteges. “In the end, they figured it out.” 

The sundae mystery was a dry run for the after-school junior detectives, ages 8 to 12. It launched this past fall at Breckenridge Recreation Center and immediately became a hit. 

“It has exploded,” Ceccon says. “I’ve had some help from my team. They have fully jumped on board with coming up with ideas and ways to make it work.” 

Every Wednesday this past school year, Junior Detectives were taking samples from strawberries, building DNA with gummy bears, and performing pickle autopsies. But maybe their favorite was the blood-splatter workshop. 

“That, the kids loved,” Ceccon says. “They absolutely loved it.” 

The whole time, kids were using the same high-level skills Ceccon uses every day with the sheriff’s office. 

“We have to practice the skills in order to teach it, to show the kids, and then we have to help them,” she says of her team. “It keeps us sharp as well.” 

Earlier this month, Ceccon was named Individual Service Champion of the Year by the Breckenridge Tourism Office. 

“That was super exciting, super unexpected,” she says, and laughs. “They kind of tricked me into going to the meeting so that I wouldn’t know ahead of time. But it was a great honor.” 

Summit County kids will be gumshoeing for a long time. Ceccon and her team are crafting a new mystery right now for summer campers. This coming school year Junior Detectives will be back at the Breck Rec.