How did you spend your weekend? Watching true crime documentaries on Netflix and chilling? Well, Selena Gomez was quietly at work with other amateur sleuths working to solve a real-life cold case at CrimeCon Chicago. Gomez and her mother, Mandy Teefey, attended the convention’s CrowdSolve event, CrimeCon confirmed on its Instagram today, sharing a photo of Gomez hard at work.
“We were honored to host @selenagomez and her mom @mandyteefey at CrowdSolve this weekend,” CrimeCon wrote. “They were perfect detectives 🕵️🕵️ who, along with hundreds of others, helped bring peace to the Sova family.”
Gomez also shared she was at CrimeCon Chicago, sharing photos of her and her mom in Chicago. “Momma and I being tourists,” Gomez wrote. “We take great pictures. OH and we went to CrimeCon! Love you Chicago and the bean.”
What case was Gomez helping to solve? The unsolved muder of Kurt Sova, who disappeared the night of October 23, 1981 when he went to a party in Cleveland’s Newburgh Heights suburbs. His body was found five days later in a nearby ravine.
According CrimeCon Chicago’s site, Gomez and other participants worked “to solve a real cold case that has been specifically chosen for this event. Guided by our Chief Investigator, retired U.S. Marshal Art Roderick, law enforcement, and our hand-picked experts, we’ll work through the facts, the case file, and the key questions that remain unanswered. This isn’t a made-for-TV drama that will wrap-up neatly in 60 minutes—this is real life, complete with all of the complexities, false-starts, red-herrings, and frustrating roadblocks that law enforcement deals with every day in their investigations.”
Sova’s brother Kevin was involved in the weekend, which was thoroughly documented on CrimeCon’s Instagram. He was moved by the work of the convention’s attendees and explained how he got involved with the event in a blog post on CrimeCon’s site. (CrowdSolve participants’ findings were presented to the Newburgh Heights Police Department.)
He explained a police officer connected him with CrimeCon:
Thirty-eight years later, I got a call out of the blue: “Mr. Sova, this is Chief Majoy with the Newburgh Heights Police Department.” I thought he was contacting me about something my brother Kenny had done because he was always in and out of trouble. But he wanted to talk about Kurt. We had a short conversation. I wanted to get off the phone. I wasn’t ready to deal with it. My wife convinced me to give him a chance.
I told him later that I would come in and talk to him and he told me about CrowdSolve. He had done his homework on it and was confident it could help. I left his office very optimistic. It brought up feelings about Kurt that I had stuffed away for years. It showed me that they were serious about trying to help his case.
When my brother Kenny died, he was dead inside our family home for ten days. I wanted to set the whole house on fire. There was nothing in the house I wanted anything to do with. Kenny had sold everything he could get his hands on, but among the mess, in Mom’s old closet, I found boxes and boxes of documents, news clippings, and notes that Mom had kept on Kurt’s case. I took those and left the rest of it to the dope dealers and copper salvagers.
Two and a half years later, when I went to meet with Chief Majoy, I took some of the boxes with me. His eyes lit up like he had just hit the lottery. I told him to take it all. I felt like I was getting energy from my Mom above and that all she had done had finally paid off.
I wish right now that my Mom was sitting here instead of me. She’s the one who deserves to be treated the way CrowdSolve and Chief Majoy are treating me. She never let go. Eventually everyone gave up on her. Kurt died in Newburgh. We lived in Cleveland. There was always conflict between the two jurisdictions. Nobody wanted to talk about it. I told her so many times “Mom, give it up, nobody cares about this anymore. Nobody cares about Kurt.”
Now I know that hundreds of people—complete strangers—have it in their heart to do something. It’s a way to do these things in the future. These people are nothing but optimistic about their ability to help and you can see it in their eyes that they want to help a total stranger’s family. How do you not encourage that?