Heather Kalayjian stands looking at the wreckage of a Saturn sedan that has treated the living room of a house like a fast-food drive-through.
She takes in the body in the driver's seat, notes the rubble and bloody handprint on the car hood. It appears as though a crime has occurred and from the evidence scattered around, beer and pizza were involved. But what about the kids in the photo above the television inside the house? Were they? Maybe.
"A car went through a house, and there's a dead man behind the wheel. That's pretty much all we know," says Kalayjian, who became an amateur sleuth for an hour on Wednesday, solving the crime in about the time it takes to watch an episode of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation."
That's appropriate since she's a staff member at CSI: The Experience, a new interactive Strip attraction that opens to the public today in MGM Grand's Studio Walk.
Part of Kalayjian's job last week was to familiarize herself with every feature of CSI: The Experience, which enables guests to hypothetically snap on a pair of latex gloves and become a rookie crime scene investigator, in the tradition of the popular CBS television show set in Las Vegas.
Developed by the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, the attraction first launched as a touring show in 2006.
The attraction, produced by EMS Exhibits Inc., utilizes a multimedia environment of special effects, interactive computer stations, videos and displays explaining the forensic science used by crime scene investigators in real life and on the "CSI" television shows. It spans 12,000 square feet and cost $5 million.
Original cast members from "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," including Marg Helgenberger, William Petersen, George Eads, Jorja Fox, Eric Szmanda and Robert David Hall, were scheduled to appear at Saturday night's red carpet grand opening event.
The show's creator, Anthony E. Zuiker, a former Las Vegan, also was expected to attend.
Several of them were involved in the making of CSI: The Experience. A video of Zuiker greets guests before they walk through the attraction. Participants "report" to Petersen as his character Gil Grissom, and at the end of their visit, they present their findings to him, via computer terminals.
First, visitors must choose one of three crimes to solve.
In "A House Collided," new sleuths are asked to figure out why a car crashed through a house and why the apparent driver is dead. Case notes are made and then used at the various computer stations.
The first rule of solving a crime, Kalayjian says, is to note everything, even if it doesn't seem important. She took her observations -- pizza and beer on the floor of the house, blood on the car -- to an area devoted to blood spatter, where she compared the blood at the crime scene to known patterns. At other terminals, she examined fibers found on the dead body; compared footprints to a shoe print database; and received a briefing from a coroner in an autopsy bay.
In "No Bones About It," a human skull found in the desert must be identified. In "Who Got Served?" sleuths solve the murder of a waitress found in an alley.
Each crime takes from 60 to 90 minutes to solve. Upon completion of each, visitors receive a CSI diploma.
Admission costs $30 and successive visits cost $26 each until all three crimes are completed.
It's the sort of activity that's good for team-building, because it encourages communication, says Doris Pommerening, spokeswoman for EMS Exhibits Inc.
People get excited and start talking about the crime and their theories, she says.
Sleuths go through with groups of as many as 45 people. It's recommended that children be at least 12 years old before going through, Pommerening says.
Contact reporter Sonya Padgett at spadgett @reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4564.