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Pueblo Cold Cases

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Pueblo, Colorado Cold Cases

Recently, law enforcement agencies across the United States have made it a priority to investigate and solve cold cases. Crimes that have remained unsolved for a long time, say years or even decades, can leave a lasting emotional scar on the victims' loved ones. This pattern is reflected in the small city of Pueblo, Colorado, located about 100 miles south of Denver. There are several high-profile cold cases that have yet to be solved in Pueblo.

Since 1980, Pueblo has experienced a total of 78 unsolved homicides, according to data from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. Of those cases, 35 remain open and ongoing, while the rest have been closed due to various causes such as the death of the suspect or the failure to gather enough evidence for a conviction.

The vast majority of the victims in these cases are men, with 62 of the 78 being male. There were 41 homicide victims between the ages of 20 and 39, making up the largest age group. Furthermore, firearms were involved in 57 of the 78 homicides that occurred.

Pueblo police have taken steps to improve their investigations and deliver justice to victims and their families, despite the large number of cold cases. The department established a cold case unit in 2016 with one detective and one sergeant to look into the unsolved murders in the city. Cases that had previously been unsolvable are revisited and re-investigated by the unit, with the help of modern tools like DNA testing.

The culprit in a 2011 murder case was apprehended in 2019 thanks in part to this strategy. The investigation had stalled for years, but because to advances in DNA testing, the cold case unit has finally solved the case. Some peace of mind came to the victim's loved ones after the suspect was arrested and charged with first-degree murder.

Famous cold cases in Pueblo

The department has also made an effort to involve the public in their investigations by posting requests for information and tips on social media and in local media. Together with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the department has more tools at its disposal to solve cases and bring closure to victims' families.

While progress has been made, there is still much work to be done in solving Pueblo’s unsolved homicides. Even though it's encouraging that a cold case unit has been established, and that technology and community involvement have been ramped up, these efforts still require a substantial investment of time and manpower to be truly effective. The Pueblo Police Department has made it clear that solving these cases and bringing justice to the victims and closure to their families is a top priority.

The longer this investigation continues, the greater the possibility that more cases will be solved and more families will get the answers they've been searching for. The victims' loved ones will have to wait in the meantime, though, in the hopes that justice will be done to them someday.

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 Pueblo Police Department (PPD)'s strategy for investigating unsolved cases?

Methods employed by PPD for investigating unsolved cases might differ based on numerous aspects such as the nature of the crime, available evidence, technological improvements, public attention, and the resources of the agency. The following are some methods frequently employed by law enforcement to solve cold cases:

Law enforcement authorities can reexamine the evidence with cutting-edge forensic science and technology to look for fresh clues and information.

Witness re-interviewing: Investigators may re-interview witnesses and persons associated to the investigation, in hopes of unearthing new information or contradictions in past testimonies.

Utilizing public assistance: Police departments may seek the assistance of the public by releasing details of the case to the media, offering rewards for information, or utilizing social media and other platforms to engage the public and seek new leads.

In order to solve a case, law enforcement officials may work with other entities, such as forensic labs, private investigators, or even other law enforcement officials who have specialized knowledge in the area.

Dedicated units or teams inside some organizations focus solely on resolving cold cases, and its investigators have extensive experience and training in this area.

Technological progress: As cutting-edge tools become available, law enforcement agencies may be able to employ innovative techniques like DNA testing and facial recognition to crack long-cold cases.

An agency's approach to investigating a cold case may change depending on the specifics of the case, so it's crucial to keep that in mind.

What resources are available to help solve cold cases?

The following are some of the tools at Pueblo, Colorado's disposal for investigating cold cases:

The Pueblo Police Department maintains a specialized cold case squad that looks into cold crimes, such as unsolved murders or missing persons. In order to find fresh leads and information that could help solve these cases, the unit collaborates closely with other law enforcement authorities and the public.

The CBI also provides assistance in solving cold cases in Pueblo and elsewhere in Colorado. The CBI has a Cold Case Section that helps local police with investigations, finds those responsible, and delivers justice to victims' families.

Pueblo Crime Stoppers is a nonprofit organization that partners with law enforcement to investigate and solve crimes, including unsolved cold cases. Tips can be sent anonymously through the website or by calling the hotline, and the group provides incentives for information leading to an arrest or conviction in a cold case.

NamUs is an acronym for the National Missing and Unidentified People System, and it is a database that helps families of missing people and law authorities find information on their loved ones. To find missing people or solve cold cases, investigators can search the database using various criteria, including name, location, and other information.

DNA databanks: new forensics tools have allowed for the resolution of cold cases using genetic material. In Colorado, DNA profiles from both criminals and crime scenes are stored in a database maintained by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. Law enforcement may be able to solve a cold case or make a connection to another crime by comparing DNA evidence from the scene to the databank.

Major cities surrounding Pueblo, Colorado

Colorado Springs, Colorado
Denver, Colorado
Aurora, Colorado
Lakewood, Colorado
Castle Rock, Colorado

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