Aug. 20, 2011— -- A 12-year-old amateur sleuth beat police at their own game by cracking the case of who ransacked her late great-grandmother's home last month.
Jessica Maple honed her detective skills at a Junior District Attorney camp in Atlanta this summer, sponsored by the Fulton County DA's office.
Police told Jessica, and her mother Stephanie, that whoever robbed the home would have had to have entered with a key, since such large items were stolen and there were no signs of forced entry, Jessica said.
But the curious 12-year-old knew something wasn't right. Her parents were the only two people who had keys.
She asked her mother to take her to investigate a few days later.
"I went to the side of the house and looked at the garage," Jessica told ABCNews.com
"The windows were broken. There were finger prints by the glass. Everything was ramshackled. There were clothes everywhere."
Not only did Jessica find a crucial clue police missed, but she took it one step further by visiting a pawn shop down the street.
Sure enough, she found her great-grandmother's furniture for sale.
"They weren't thinking," she said of the robbers. "They put everything in the same shop!
The pawn shop manager told Jessica he knew one of the guys well because he frequently brought it items. He even had copies of both mens' picture identifications.
Jessica called the investigator assigned to the case.
"He was like 'You beat me to this stuff' and I was like, ' I did your job again,'" she said.
The gutsy, crime-fighting pre-teen, accompanied by her mother, then went to one robber's home and confronted him.
"We went up to him and I asked him why he did it," Jessica said. "At first he denied it, but then he confessed."
Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard told ABCNews.com he was proud of Jessica.
"It was incredible. She was so bright and such a great personality," he said. "I'm ssure the police are probably a little bit embarrassed."
Despite all of the evidence, no arrests have been made by police, who are in a different jurisdiction than Howard's.
"They have all the evidence," Jessica said. "I have no idea what is taking so long!"