There are several unsolved murder and disappearance cases in Tucson, Arizona. Almost 300 persons have gone missing or been murdered in Tucson since 1980, according to data from the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs). The transient nature of the population and the passage of time are two elements that can make these issues more difficult to solve.
A significant obstacle in solving cold cases is the common absence of pivotal evidence or witnesses. Potential eyewitnesses could have relocated, forgotten key facts, or even perished. Over time, physical evidence may have degraded or been lost. It may also be difficult for investigators to identify and apprehend the perpetrator because the trail of evidence may have gone cold.
Nonetheless, police in Tucson and elsewhere persist in their efforts to close cold cases. The application of cutting-edge forensic technology, such as DNA testing and analysis, has been shown to be effective 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.