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Juneau Cold Cases

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Juneau, Alaska Cold Cases

Juneau, Alaska is a small city, yet it has its fair share of unsolved murder and disappearance cases. Crimes that occur in remote areas with difficult terrain and elapse for extended periods of time present unique challenges for law enforcement.

More than twenty people have gone missing or been murdered in Juneau since 1980, and none of their bodies have been found, 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.

The passage of time can compound the difficulty of solving cold cases, which is a major obstacle. Evidence can deteriorate 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 Juneau 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. Investigators may re-examine old evidence with the latest technology, which can help identify suspects and potentially exonerate those who were wrongfully convicted.

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 inform 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.

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 working together, law enforcement agencies and groups can utilize their resources and experience to more efficiently solve cold cases.

Famous cold cases in Juneau

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.

Ultimately, missing and slain persons cases that go unsolved are a challenging problem in Juneau and across the country. 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 Juneau Police Department (JPD)'s strategy for investigating unsolved cases?

Juneau Alaska law enforcement officials may employ a number of tactics to crack open cold cases and other unsolved homicides.

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 Juneau, Alaska, there are several tools at your disposal to investigate cold cases. To name a few examples of such materials:

  • Cold Case Unit of the Alaska State Troopers: This unit examines unsolved homicides, missing persons, and unidentified remains cases across Alaska, including in Juneau.
  • The Juneau Police Department maintains a detective bureau that looks into cold cases and other cases that haven't been solved.
  • The public can anonymously report criminal activities to Crime Stoppers, which includes information on cold cases.
  • DNA testing New methods for analyzing one's genetic material have led to the resolution of many cold cases. In order to find new leads and suspects, law enforcement organizations can collaborate with crime labs to test old material for DNA.
  • Some families of victims in cold cases may decide to hire private investigators to aid them in their search for answers. Private investigators can collect data and follow up on leads either alone or in tandem with law enforcement.

Major cities surrounding Juneau, Alaska

Sitka, Alaska
Ketchikan, Alaska
Skagway, Alaska
Haines, Alaska
Petersburg, Alaska

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