A 10-year-old girl from Cumberland, Rhode Island, had serious questions about whether Santa Claus is real and submitted DNA evidence to her local police to get to the truth. On the morning of December 25, 2022, Scarlett Doumato retrieved a partially eaten cookie and carrots with bite marks and sent them to the Cumberland Police Department for testing, along with a handwritten note.

“Dear Cumberland Police Department [sic]i took a sample of a cookie and some carrots i left for santa and the raindeer [sic] Christmas Eve and was wondering if you could take a DNA sample and see if Santa Claus is real? Doumato wrote.

Cumberland Police Chief Matthew J. Benson was impressed with the child’s dedication to solving the mystery. “For her to take this initiative and move it forward because she has a question that she wants answered, I think that was amazing,” Benson told Today.

The police department shared a photo of Doumato’s testimony, his letter and a statement on Facebook.

letter, font

Doumato’s handwritten letter to the police.

via Cumberland Police Department/Facebook

Doumato’s work collecting evidence from the crime scene was impressive, to say the least. “She did the job — she put the evidence together, she labeled it the right way,” Benson said. “She obviously watches the shows very carefully. Separate bags. She did it right, so we take it as seriously as she does.

Doumato presented separately packaged evidence.

via Cumberland Police Department/Facebook

The Cumberland Police Department announced that after seeing his evidence, they had launched a special investigation into the Santa investigation.

The department shared in its press release:

“Earlier this month, a young City of Cumberland investigator submitted the attached letter requesting that DNA analysis be performed on the remains of partially eaten cookies and carrots she acquired on the morning of the 25th December 2022, for possible DNA evidence of Santa Claus (aka Kris Kringle, aka Saint Nicholas, aka St. Nick) and/or one of his nine reindeer As such, Chief Benson immediately asked his division to turn over her evidence to the Rhode Island State Department of Health and Forensic Sciences Analysis Unit. Chief Benson noted, “This young woman obviously has a strong sense of truth and of the investigative process and did a tremendous job preparing his evidence for submission. We will do our best to provide him with answers.”

Cumberland Police added additional evidence they collected on the night of December 24. The most compelling evidence was a photo of a “reindeer” spotted in the area that night.

reindeer, deer

The Cumberland Police Department shared a “reindeer sighting” on Christmas Eve.

via Cumberland Police Department/Facebook

The girl’s mother was pleased to see that the police were taking her daughter’s investigation seriously. “A big thank you, Chief Benson and to the entire CPD! My Scarlett is going to be so thrilled that you are looking into her case!!!!!” Alyson Doumato wrote in the comments.

WJAR caught up with the young detective and learned that she had a Wacky Lab Home Detective Kit on her desk. “I watch crime shows and thought it was cool to be a detective,” she told the outlet.

Her mother said that inquiry was part of her nature. “She’s always a little skeptical and looking for the facts,” said Alyson Doumuto.

The open case is still being pursued by the Cumberland Police Department.



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