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Fairbanks Cold Cases

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Fairbanks, Alaska Cold Cases

Fairbanks, a small city in the heart of Alaska, has its fair share of missing persons and homicide cases that have gone cold. Crimes that occur in distant areas with difficult terrain and elapse for extended periods of time provide unique challenges for law enforcement.

Almost 40 persons have gone missing or been murdered in Fairbanks since 1980, according to data from the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (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.

Law enforcement in Fairbanks and elsewhere in Alaska, as well as the rest of the country, is persevering in its efforts to close cold cases despite these obstacles. 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 falsely condemned 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 Fairbanks

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 Fairbanks and elsewhere in the United States are a complex and trying 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 Fairbanks Police Department (FPD)'s strategy for investigating unsolved cases?

FPD may utilize a range of methodologies and techniques to examine unsolved cases, including cold cases.

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?

Unsolved homicides, missing persons, and unexplained skeletal remains cases in Alaska are investigated by the Alaska State Troopers' Cold Case Unit. Along with local authorities, federal partners, and other specialists, the unit's lieutenant, sergeant, and two detectives investigate cold cases. The Alaska Department of Public Safety also maintains a website in which it details cold cases of homicide and disappearance and solicits information from the public that may lead to a resolution. Links to external resources, such as the National Missing and Unidentified People System (NamUs) and the FBI's Violent Criminal Apprehension Program, are also included on the site (ViCAP).

Major cities surrounding Fairbanks, Alaska

Anchorage, Alaska
North Pole, Alaska
Delta Junction, Alaska
Nenana, Alaska
Tok, Alaska

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