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Anchorage Cold Cases

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Anchorage, Alaska Cold Cases

Alaska's largest city, Anchorage, has its fair share of unsolved murder and disappearance cases. Crimes that occur in distant areas with difficult terrain and elapse for extended periods of time provide unique challenges for law enforcement.

There are over a hundred unsolved missing and homicide cases in Anchorage dating back to 1980, according to data compiled by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NamUs). Some of these missing persons cases also involve homicide victims. Families still don't have answers in many of these cases, and that's made it impossible for them to go on.

Although cold cases can grow more challenging to solve over time, this is one of the key obstacles they present. Evidence can decay or be lost, witnesses can forget, and the trail of the perpetrator can go cold. If the case isn't solved soon, the victims' loved ones may lose interest and give up looking for them as time passes, significantly diminishing the likelihood of finding them alive.

Despite the difficulties, law enforcement in Anchorage and elsewhere in the country is committed to closing cold cases. The application of cutting-edge forensic technology, such as DNA testing and analysis, has been a fruitful tactic in some investigations. The use of modern technology in re-examining old evidence can lead to the identification of perpetrators and, in some cases, the release of wrongfully convicted individuals.

The use of social media and other technologies by law enforcement can supplement the findings of forensic science and provide additional leads and information. In order to bring attention to a case, solicit information from the public, or notify the public of recent events, they may use social media. NamUs is a database that law enforcement agencies can utilize to share information and work together across the country.

Famous cold cases in Anchorage

Cooperation between law enforcement and other groups is another effective method for resolving cold cases. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and the Doe Network are two non-profits that can aid law enforcement with resources including databases and knowledge of how to solve cold cases. By pooling their resources and knowledge, law enforcement agencies and organizations can more efficiently solve cold cases.

It's crucial that law enforcement and the public keep pushing to crack cold cases, despite the fact that they're difficult and time-consuming. We can help victims' families find resolution by devoting time and energy to these cases, and we can ensure that those responsible for these atrocities face justice.

The National Missing and Unidentified People System is a vital resource for families dealing with missing or murdered loved ones (NamUs). There is now a centralized location where law enforcement, relatives, and the general public may go to look for and share information on missing persons and unexplained remains. NamUs allows families to build profiles for missing loved ones and collaborate on the case by sharing relevant information.

In conclusion, missing and homicide cases that went cold in Anchorage and elsewhere in the United States are a challenging and complex problem. Since solving these cases can be difficult and time-consuming, it is crucial that law enforcement and the public remain dedicated to doing so in order to bring justice to the victims' loved ones and bring them closure. We can keep working to solve these cold cases and deliver justice to individuals who have been wronged through the use of cutting-edge technology, collaboration with other groups, and focus on these instances.

Joseph Smedley
Joseph SmedleySuspicious Death, 2015
Asha Degree
Asha DegreeMissing, 2000

Consider this

More than 200,000 unsolved cases have gone cold since 1980, and murder clearance rates continue to drop. With equity for BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and other underserved victims not prioritized in the true crime community—together we can do better.

What is Anchorage Police Department (APD)'s strategy for investigating unsolved cases?

Unsolved and "cold" cases in Anchorage, Alaska, may be investigated using a wide range of tactics and procedures.

Evidence and forensic materials are frequently reexamined using state-of-the-art equipment and scientific techniques. Forensic analysis can involve several methods, such as DNA testing and ballistics analysis. As part of their work, investigators may re-interview witnesses, speak with new individuals who may have information relating to the case, and pore over case files and prior investigations in search of new leads or ignored evidence.

In addition, local police may form partnerships with federal agencies like the FBI in order to pool resources and pool knowledge. They may also coordinate with regional media to increase exposure of the investigation and find fresh leads.

A number of police agencies have established "cold case units," staffed by investigators with expertise in reopening cold cases. Some agencies have specialized divisions whose job it is to reexamine closed cases for possible new leads and devise plans for reopening the investigations.

Involving and keeping the victims' loved ones informed during the investigation is another crucial tactic. Trust and collaboration between law enforcement and the families involved can be crucial in solving many cases, and this can assist foster that.

A police department's approach to a given case, the tools at its disposal, and the experience of its investigative officers will all influence the methods it employs. While inquiries into cold cases can be difficult and time-consuming, they can also give victims' families with closure and help individuals who have been wronged receive justice.

What resources are available to help solve cold cases?

In Anchorage, Alaska, residents can use a variety of tools to investigate cold cases. Among these are:

Anchorage is not immune to the cold case investigations conducted by the Alaska State Troopers' Cold Case Unit.

The Anchorage Police Department has a special unit dedicated to re-examining cold cases of murder and disappearance.

Crime Stoppers is a non-profit organization that allows members of the public to anonymously report criminal behavior. All tips can be provided via phone, text, or the web.

DNA evidence found in databases: a potent tool for solving cold cases. Authorities in Anchorage and statewide in Alaska have access to national DNA databases.

Member of the family or the community: Members of the family or the community may have information that helps solve a cold case. They could be able to shed light on the investigation or provide detectives with new leads.

Even though not all cold cases can be solved, these tools can improve the odds that victims' families will finally get the answers they deserve and justice will be served.

Major cities surrounding Anchorage, Alaska

Fairbanks, Alaska
Wasilla, Alaska
Palmer, Alaska
Kenai, Alaska
Soldotna, Alaska

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Top Anchorage Cold Cases