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Fresno Cold Cases

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Fresno, California Cold Cases

Fresno, California has a long list of missing and murdered people who have never been found. Families and communities have been decimated, and police have few leads and evidence to work with because of these crimes. As of the year 2023, there have been over 150 homicides in Fresno that have not been solved since 1980, causing many to wonder how to bring justice to the victims and their families.

The Fresno Police Department reports a rising trend in the number of murders that remain unsolved in the city. There were 19 murders that went unsolved in 2020, and 23 in 2021. Most of these crimes are linked to organized criminal gangs and entail numerous suspects and intricate investigations.

Police have a difficult time solving cold cases because of a lack of tangible evidence and eyewitnesses. It gets harder to find new witnesses and collect new evidence as time goes on. It is also more challenging to secure assistance from possible witnesses or colleagues because many of the cases include victims who were involved in unlawful activity.

Fresno's police force has responded to these obstacles by employing a wide range of techniques to resurrect cold cases. Using forensic tools like DNA analysis and other forms of cutting-edge testing is one method. The Department of Justice has partnered with the Central California Intelligence Center and the California Department of Justice to pool their respective resources and share information and knowledge.

Famous cold cases in Fresno

The government has also instituted a program called "Rewards for Justice," which provides monetary incentives for information that leads to the capture and conviction of criminals involved in unsolved murders. Certain cases have seen an increase in tips and leads thanks to the program, and other families have been able to finally rest easy.

Unfortunately, many cases in Fresno remain unsolved despite these efforts, leaving victims' loved ones with unanswered questions and unresolved anguish. Fresno police ask that anybody with any information, no matter how small, about these incidents come forward.

With so many unsolved homicides in Fresno, California, it's clear that new methods of investigation are required to catch the killers in the act. Law enforcement and the public must collaborate to bring justice to the families and communities still searching for answers years after a tragedy has struck.

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 Fresno Police Department (FPD)'s strategy for investigating unsolved cases?

Unsolved homicides are investigated by the Cold Case Homicide Unit of the Fresno Police Department (FPD). The unit is made up of seasoned detectives who put in long hours to find the truth and ensure that the victims and their families receive justice.

The FPD employs a wide range of methods and techniques in its investigations, such as re-examining and re-examining physical evidence, conducting interviews with witnesses and family members, and using technological advances like DNA analysis.

The FPD places a premium on community partnerships as one of its primary tactics. They collaborate closely with regional media to raise awareness of cold cases and solicit tips from the public. They also participate in outreach activities and hold events to interact with locals and maybe gain useful information for their inquiries.

The FPD also employs a number of other law enforcement organizations, such as the FBI and the California Department of Justice, in their strategy. These collaborations allow them to gain access to specialized resources and knowledge that can aid in the resolution of these challenging issues.

Unfortunately, many cold cases have not been solved despite these attempts. The FPD recognizes the difficulties in investigating crimes that may be decades old, such as the loss of prospective witnesses and suspects and the lack of comprehensive or current documents. Yet, they continue to fight for justice on behalf of the victims' loved ones.

The FPD has made strides in the resolution of some high-profile cold cases in recent years. A suspect in a murder that occurred in 2003 was finally apprehended in 2018. In 2020, authorities will reveal that they used genetic genealogy to solve a cold case murder from 1984.

The FPD's commitment to solving cold cases and giving families closure is admirable, however much has to be done. There is optimism that more cold cases will be solved and justice will be done as technology and investigation skills continue to improve.

What resources are available to help solve cold cases?

In Fresno, California, there are many resources available to investigate cold cases. Some examples:

Cold Case Unit of the Fresno Police Department investigates homicides and disappearances that have not been resolved. You can visit their website to see a list of open cold cases and provide them with suggestions.

The Central California Intelligence Center (CCIC) is a law enforcement organization that aids other law enforcement agencies in the Central California area with data analysis. This area includes Fresno. Several databases and resources are available to them, which can be used to help solve cold cases.

Fresno County Crime Stoppers is a non-profit organization that gives prizes for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in criminal cases, even cold cases. Suggestions can be made in complete anonymity via their website, phone line, or mobile app.

Help with cold cases is available from the California Department of Justice's Bureau of Investigation. The organization also maintains a searchable database of missing persons and unclaimed bodies.

NamUs, the National Missing and Unidentified People System, is a database that houses information useful in finding missing and unidentified people and bringing them home safely. Law enforcement, medical examiners, and the public can all have access to it.

Major cities surrounding Fresno, California

Bakersfield, California
Modesto, California
Stockton, California
Visalia, California
Merced, California

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