Population estimates place Savannah, Georgia's population at at 145,000. Savannah is known for its Southern hospitality, but the city also has a disturbing history of unsolved murders and disappearances that have gone cold. These lawsuits, which can drag on for decades without resolution, cause untold suffering and anxiety among loved ones. Take a look at these numbers to get a better idea of how common and complicated these cold cases are in Savannah.
Around 200 unsolved homicides, some dating back to the 1970s, have been reported to the Savannah Police Department (SPD). Around half of these cases are considered "cold" since they have been unsolved for more than three years. Several disappearances and missing persons cases have likewise gone cold and have not been solved.
There have been more than 400 homicides in Savannah since 1980, or around 10–15 each year on average. Yet, homicide rates have changed throughout time, rising steadily until the late 1980s before leveling off.
Because of the absence of tangible evidence and credible witnesses, investigating cold cases is notoriously difficult. Several of these crimes occurred in the '80s and '90s, when DNA testing and other modern forensic methods were not yet in use. The inability to locate and question eyewitnesses is compounded by the fact that some incidents may have included people who have passed away or relocated.
The absence of funds set aside to investigate cold cases is another obstacle. Due to the SPD's low manpower and supply levels, detectives who are currently working on active cases are frequently tasked with cold case investigations. A result of this is that it might be challenging for detectives to give cold cases the attention they need.
Although difficulties remain, the SPD has made headway in solving some of the city's cold cases. For the past few years, the agency has established a special unit to examine and reexamine cold cases. In certain instances, investigators have been able to make significant headway thanks to new leads or technological advancements, resulting in arrests and convictions.