Selena Gomez spent her weekend being a tourist in Chicago in the most unexpected way — by joining hundreds of other true crime fans in trying to solve a decades-old cold case
The 27-year-old singer attended CrimeCon Chicago’s Crowdsolve event, a unique experience in which amateur detectives from all walks of life work together to examine a cold case and come up with new theories that are, at the end of the event, presented to law enforcement.
“Momma and I being tourists. We take great pictures. OH and we went to CrimeCon! Love you Chicago and the bean,” Gomez wrote on Instagram alongside a slideshow of photos of her and her mother, Mandy Teefey, posing throughout the city.
Gomez and the rest of this year’s attendees delved into the case of Kurt Sova, a 17-year-old Cleveland, Ohio native who went missing on Oct. 23, 1981 after attending a Halloween party, only for his body to be recovered in a ravine days later.
CrimeCon confirmed that Gomez was in attendance at the CrowdSolve event over the weekend, sharing a photo on Instagram of Gomez apparently taking notes on the case.
“We were honored to host @selenagomez and her mom @mandyteefey at CrowdSolve this weekend. They were perfect detectives who, along with hundreds of others, helped bring peace to the Sova family,” their post reads.
“[Selena and her mother] were absolutely delightful,” reads a second post. “They rolled up their sleeves and dug into the #KurtSova case alongside 300 other citizen detectives at #CrowdSolve Chicago!”
CrowdSolve describes itself as an “immersive experience” during which attendees, led by experts like retired U.S. Marshal Art Roderick, work through a particular case, poring over actual witness statements and other valuable information, to try and make headway. At the end of the event, the amateur sleuths fill out a “Case Action Report” detailing their final theories, and that information is passed directly onto law enforcement, according to the event website.
Organizers were made aware in advance that Gomez and Teefey planned to attend, and took steps to ensure that the pair had an authentic weekend and were treated as any other attendee, Kevin Balfe of Red Seat Ventures, which produces CrimeCon and CrimeSolve events, told Oxygen.com. In fact, Gomez's presence went unnoticed by many who were there.
"Ninety-five percent of attendees had no idea that Selena was there," Balfe said. "In fact we’re seeing comments now from people who attended shocked that they were in a room with her all weekend."
As for the Sova family, they were "pretty blown away and so happy for the additional publicity," Balfe said, adding, "The victim’s brother did get to have a personal conversation with Selena as well, which was very nice for him as he worked through the emotions of the weekend."
Oxygen is a presenting sponsor of both CrimeCon and CrowdSolve events. Past CrimeCons and CrimeSolve events have taken place across the nation, in places like Seattle, Washington, Indianapolis, Indiana, and Nashville, Tennessee. CrimeCon will come to Florida later this year with CrimeCon: Orlando, which will be held on May 1 through May 3.
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