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  1. #1
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    Cold Case News

    In November 2003, the 14- to 20-year-old girl remained unidentified. The Clark County Coroner’s Office had exhausted all techniques available at the time. Except one: the Internet.

    “Some people came up with the idea of putting dead people’s photos on the World Wide Web,” Murphy said. “I said, ‘We’ve done everything else. Why not this?’ ” The initial reaction was not positive.

    “I was convinced I had made a big blunder, and I thought I would lose my job,” he said.

    “Within 24 hours, we had identified our first decedent,” Murphy said. “The response that we got was amazing. That started to kind of give us a boost. Within 72 hours, we had identified another one. A week later, another, and we were off the ground running.”
    http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/re...county-coroner
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  2. #2
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    Cold Case News

    This thread is to post news articles regarding advances in cold case resolutions from various jurisdictions.
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  3. #3
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    Cold cases: Former police chief says ‘No one gets forgotten’
    By ZACK McDONALD | News Herald Writer | Twitter: @pcnhzack
    Published: Saturday, January 24, 2015 at 06:25 PM.

    [...]

    Cold cases: Lining the cubicle of former Panama City Beach Police Chief Lee Sullivan are the faces of those who disappeared without the reasons for their departure adding up.

    “Sometimes it comes down to ‘no body, no crime,’ “ Sullivan said.

    Several different agencies, and an untold number of eyes, have perused the cases. The pages upon pages of findings have accumulated over the years in thick dossiers. Currently tasked with reviewing those findings and investigating further, Sullivan volunteered for the cold case duty months ago. So far he has scanned the thousands of documents in 21 cases in what he calls “the tomb of doom,” BCSO’s cold case closet.

    “It’s like a Dumpster diver,” Sullivan said. “You can’t just look over the edge. You have to dig in and rummage around. If you don’t look through every page, you might miss something.”

    (much more at the link)
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  4. #4
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    Maine lawmakers press to find funding for cold case unit
    By Alanna DurkinAssociated Press January 26, 2015

    AUGUSTA, Maine — Governor Paul LePage signed a bill last spring creating a new unit in the attorney general’s office that would focus solely on investigating Maine’s more than 100 unsolved homicides. There was only one problem: the Legislature never funded it.

    ‘‘That’s like a slap in the face, to pass it and not try to find funding,’’ said Pam McLain, whose daughter, Joyce, was found dead at the age of 16 after she went for a jog in East Millinocket 35 years ago. Joyce’s killer has never been found.

    Now, lawmakers from both parties are pushing to find the money to start a cold case squad, which they say would put more resources into helping provide justice for families that never received the closure that they deserve.

    (more at the link)
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  5. #5
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    Omaha police to get $270,000 to review cold cases
    Posted: Friday, January 9, 2015 5:45 pm
    By Roseann Moring / World-Herald staff writer

    The Omaha Police Department is set to receive a $270,000 grant from the federal government to take a closer look at its cold cases.

    The City Council is scheduled to vote Tuesday on accepting the money from the U.S. Department of Justice.

    With the money, the cold case unit will hire two part-time retired Omaha police detectives to review old cases, according to a grant application.

    The application says Omaha has 261 cold cases dating back to the 1960s.

    The aim is to review 45 of those cases and make arrests in at least two.

    (more at the link)
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  6. #6
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    Lansing has more than 60 cold case homicides since 1963
    Kevin Grasha, kgrasha@lsj.com 2:11 p.m. EST January 14, 2015

    This story was originally published on June 7, 2014

    There are 63 unsolved Lansing homicides between 1963 and 2012, according to police records. The Lansing Police Department's new cold case detective has been reviewing cases back to 1963, which is the first case the department began tracking as an unsolved homicide.

    (cont. at the link)
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  7. #7
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    1 name down, more than 100 to go on cold case list
    By RIK STEVENS
    Associated Press
    Sunday, December 28, 2014
    (Published in print: Sunday, December 28, 2014)

    The names of Judith Whitney and Kathleen Daneault came off the list of unsolved crimes in New Hampshire and Massachusetts last week after lingering there for three decades, but more than 100 in New Hampshire alone are still mysteries in search of an answer.

    The state’s cold case unit, a team of investigators and prosecutors tasked with chasing long-ago crimes, maintains a public database describing in sometimes chilling detail what happened to the victims of as-yet unknown killers:

    David Pickett, 59, found on a beach in New Castle on Feb. 4, 1993, stabbed in the back and throat slashed.

    Two Portsmouth Beauty School students, Laura Kempton in 1981 and Tammy Little in 1982, who both died of severe head injuries suffered in their apartments.

    An unidentified woman and three unidentified girls under the age of 10, their dismembered remains found in two steel drums 15 years apart in the woods around Allenstown. They were probably killed between 1977 and 1985.

    Patricia Ann Wood, born in 1972, disappeared from her Swanzey home in 1976 but it wasn’t discovered by authorities until 1987. The victims’ database says her disappearance is “very suspicious.”

    (con't at the link)

    New Hampshire Cold Case Unit
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  8. #8
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    Cause, coordination — and funding — are key to solving Maine’s cold cases
    Dec. 31, 2014.
    By The BDN Editorial Board,
    Posted Jan. 05, 2015, at 11:02 a.m.

    There’s a lingering list in Maine with about 120 names that belong to the victims of homicides that have gone unsolved. Some have been on there for decades.

    Politicians of all stripes have united around the cause of clearing those cases and delivering justice for the murder victims’ family members.

    Lawmakers in the past have supported forming an investigative unit dedicated to solving cold cases, but the move has amounted to a feel-good measure because they haven’t backed it up with the necessary funding. A cold case measure will likely be back before the Legislature this year with a proposal to use state funds to start it up.

    If lawmakers agree it’s a priority, they should consider a number of measures to make it more likely the unit will offer taxpayers a return on their investment they wouldn’t otherwise realize. With funding scarce, they’ll likely also need to decide on which budget areas will see fewer resources as a result. A cold case unit would cost about $500,000 to start up and then require more than $400,000 in funding annually.

    (cont. at the link)

    Maine State Police - Unsolved Homicides
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  9. #9
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    Civil rights era cold cases slow to resolve Decades-old leads have dried up
    Published Sunday, January 11, 2015 3:52 pm
    by Florida Courier

    [...]

    Congress acts
    In 2007, at the urging of civil rights activists, Congress passed the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crimes Act that was named for 14-year-old Emmett Till, a Chicago youth who, in 1955, was brutalized and killed by racists in Money, Miss. after he whistled at a white woman.

    At a panel discussion Dec. 9 at Washington, D.C’s National Press Club, relatives of civil rights murder victims described their efforts to see done for their loved ones. The event was sponsored by the Cold Case Justice Initiative of the Syracuse University College of Law, one of a handful of university-based programs where law students investigate civil rights murders.

    “For years, I didn’t know anything about what happened. I guess my mom didn’t want us to know what went on because we still live in that town,” said Darlene Morris-Newbill, 41, whose great grandfather, Frank Morris, died after he was set on fire by racists in Ferriday, La., in 1964. The case was investigated by the CCJI and turned its research over to the Department of Justice, which said it was unable to determine or prosecute a culprit.

    Speakers urged Congress to extend the Till Act, which is set to expire in 2017. Under the act, Congress appropriated funding to the DOJ to investigate unsolved civil rights murder cases and, whenever possible, to bring killers to justice.

    (con't at the link)
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  10. #10
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    Allentown forms cold case team to tackle unsolved homicides
    Author: Jamie Stover , Reporter, JStover@wfmz.com
    Published: Jan 28 2015 06:05:35 PM EST Updated On: Jan 29 2015 06:20:39 AM EST

    ALLENTOWN, PA. - A new investigative team in Allentown is taking a fresh crack at some of the city's unsolved homicides. Allentown Police launched the Cold Case Homicide Team in 2015, an initiative crafted by Chief Joel Fitzgerald. A sergeant and two detectives will focus on cases dating back as far as the 1960s. Eventually, they'll also re-evaluate suspicious deaths and missing persons. "We feel these older cases are very important," said Captain William Lake. Since 1980, the department has taken on nearly 320 homicide cases. About 80 of those are currently unsolved.

    Read more from WFMZ.com at: http://www.wfmz.com/news/news-region...cides/30974694
    Connect with us... Facebook/69WFMZ or @69News
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  11. #11
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    This is an older article (2008), but a good one. Thanks to dotr for posting it here - http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...7#post11488897.

    http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2008...spect-victims/
    Lengthy article.
    Feb 10/ 2008

    "An unsolved case, 27 years cold, sits on Clark County death investigator Rick Jones’ desk. He flips through it every day, and sometimes on the weekend, because he can’t shake two simple facts: Jane “Arroyo Grande” Doe makes him think of his own daughter, just as someone out there must still be thinking of Jane “Arroyo Grande” Doe.

    The popular estimate is that there are 40,000 unidentified human remains in the United States. Clark County Coroner Mike Murphy, like many experts, will tell you this number is conservative.

    Buried or laid out in a coroner’s industrial cooler like unclaimed luggage, Clark County’s 162 unidentified dead are lost in a slow slipping from the earth, followed by the haunting of families that have no idea — the gnawing of not knowing."
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  12. #12
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    47% of Pomona homicides between 2000-2010 remain unsolved
    By Doug Saunders, San Bernardino Sun
    Posted: 01/24/15, 8:29 PM PST

    [...]
    Of the homicides committed in the county in the 11-year span, 4,862 — or 46 percent — remain unsolved, according to an analysis of law enforcement data by this news organization.

    The clearance rate for all homicides in L.A. County was 54 percent while the national average for the same time period was 63 percent, according to statistics gathered by the FBI.

    For Pomona, the fifth largest city in L.A. County, more than 225 people were killed over the period. Of those 105 - or 47 percent - were unsolved.

    89 percent of the victims were men, and most were Hispanic, 141 or 63 percent.

    [...]
    Anyone with information regarding any unsolved homicide in Pomona is asked to call the Police Department’s Detective Bureau at 909-620-2095. Anyone willing to provide information who wishes to remain anonymous, can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or We-Tip 1-800-782-7463.
    How the Los Angeles News Group did the Unsolved Homicides project
    Posted: 01/23/15, 4:16 PM PST

    More than 18 months ago, this news group wanted to find out the number of unsolved homicides in Los Angeles County from 2000 through 2010.

    Within a month of filing a Public Records Act request, the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner released a database of the names of 11,244 victims who had been killed between Jan. 1, 2000, and Dec. 31, 2010.

    VIDEO: Understanding the numbers

    Database: Los Angeles County’s Unsolved Homicides
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  13. #13
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    New DNA technique may reveal face of killer in unsolved double-murder
    By Cristina Corbin
    Published January 19, 2015

    [...]

    Reston, Va.-based Parabon Nanolabs, with funding from the Department of Defense, has debuted a breakthrough type of analysis called DNA phenotyping which the company says can predict a person's physical appearance from the tiniest DNA samples, like a speck of blood or strand of hair.

    The DNA phenotyping service, commercially known as "Snapshot," could put a face on millions of unsolved cases, including international ones, and generate investigative leads when the trail has gone cold.

    [...]
    The investigator or crime lab sends evidence or extracted DNA to a Snapshot partner lab, where the DNA is run on a genotyping machine to produce the genetic information, according to the company. This genetic information is then securely transferred to Parabon, where an analyst runs it through Snapshot's predictive models to produce a prediction. A report of the results is then delivered to the agency that requested it.

    The new DNA analysis, however, is not able to predict age and height -- traits Greytak described as "very complex."

    more at the link
    http://snapshotdna.com/
    DNA Snapshot Puts a Face on a Four-Year-Old Cold Case
    Posted on January 12, 2015 by Laura Burgess

    [...]
    Parabon NanoLabs, a DNA technology company located in Reston, Virginia has been developing Snapshot for nearly four-years with funding from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). Snapshot gives crime solvers a new way to use DNA.

    Current DNA analysis techniques employed by law enforcement attempt to match a DNA sample from a crime scene with the DNA of potential suspects or criminals registered in a DNA database. This process is definitive when a match can be found, however most DNA crime scene samples do not produce a match. In those cases, Snapshot provides investigators with perhaps the most pertinent information on the potential suspect – a composite sketch derived solely from DNA evidence.
    Ellen McRae Greytak, Ph.D., Parabon’s Director of Bioinformatics explains, “Human DNA encodes the genetic information that largely determines a person’s physical appearance. A copy of this genetic code or “DNA blueprint” exists in every cell of the body, which makes DNA a potentially invaluable source of investigative information. However, traditional DNA forensic analysis ignores genetic content and treats DNA as simply a biometric identifier, a “DNA fingerprint” that can be used for matching to a known individual.”


    Read more: http://www.ammoland.com/2015/01/dna-...#ixzz3RgqJmr4d
    Under Creative Commons License: Attribution
    Follow us: @Ammoland on Twitter | Ammoland on Facebook
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  14. #14
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    Cold cases from three decades under review
    By Jessica Lauren Published: February 17, 2015, 7:06 pm Updated: February 17, 2015, 7:07 pm

    A new forensic kit called “GlobalFiler” will expand the number of patterns used to build a DNA profile which can be used as evidence. That profile will then be entered in a national data base in the hopes of finding a match to a registered convicted offender.

    [...]
    More numbers means more specific information will be available to pass on to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) homicide detectives who have hundreds of cold cases that have piled up since the mid 1980s, some with degraded evidence that will now get a second look.
    http://wishtv.com/2015/02/17/cold-ca...-under-review/
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  15. #15
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    DNA testing opens new avenues for unsolved murders

    DNA expansion in the works

    On April 1, the "DNA on arrest" law takes effect in Wisconsin. Police will be required to submit a DNA sample from anyone arrested for a violent felony and the state will begin collecting DNA from anyone convicted of a misdemeanor.

    Up to 68,000 new samples could be added to the system in the first full year of the program, Zibolski said. Currently, about 12,000 samples from convicted offenders are being added annually. The database will be used to determine whether any DNA samples are found at unsolved crime scenes.

    Zibolski said there are about 14,000 cases in Wisconsin in which DNA profiles are available but haven't been matched with a specific offender. He said adding to the pool of offenders will increase the likelihood of matches.


    Several cold cases mentioned in the article...

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