Find an area near you where there are a lot of businesses along one street. Talk to a few of those businesses in advance to organize it! Also find 6 adults to be the suspects. Gather your kids at a central meeting ground that is not the crime scene. Divide into 6 groups. (We had 60 kids do this and we divided into 6 groups of 10). Assign a sheriff and hand out false money, just in case a witness might need some cash flow in order to talk. Take them to the crime scene.
At ours, there was a chalk outline of Elmo and 6 items in ziplock bags (one for each suspect). Since there are six different suspects, there are 6 different clue routes. Each team is only in charge of finding their suspect and bringing him/her back to the crime scene. Then, give the teams their clues. Each clue should have a clue about their suspect and a clue to the location of their next clue. You might want to keep all the clues for one team one color. When you talk to the businesses in advance, ask them if you could place a clue in their window. Request that they keep an exterior light on. (One of our clues, said: look for the man with the GAP in his teeth. Meaning that we should go to the Gap for our next clue).
Put the clues as far away from each other to make it interesting. Have the fourth clue for every team lead to a “mysterious person” at the end of a street in the town. Have the him/her know the descriptions of all the characters really well. He/she will tell the teams where to go to find their suspect. (Our suspects were placed at places like Starbucks, the cable company, the movie theater, restaurants, either as a waitress or as a chef.) We arranged this all before hand, obviously. Once they capture their suspects, have the team go back to the crime scene. Make sure the suspects are very clear on their character. Let them know that they should maintain their innocence at all times and try to escape whenever possible. (we used 6 of our counselors. it was really fun that way!)
One you have all your suspects, have your youth leader tell the detectives why the suspects hated Elmo. Then have the suspects tell what they did the night of the murder. Make sure that the murderer is the least obvious. The teams that guess the correct murderer received candy bars the next Sunday.