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Indianapolis Cold Cases

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Indianapolis, Indiana Cold Cases

In Indianapolis, Indiana, the problem of missing and murdered people is a major worry for both the police and the public. The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) and the Marion County Prosecutor's Office have had a long-standing issue with cold cases.

The IMPD has looked into over 1,400 cases of missing persons and approximately 1,000 cases of homicide since 1980. However, many of these instances have not yet been solved, keeping the victims' loved ones in the dark.

Over 200,000 murders in the United States have not been solved since the 1960s, according to a report from the National Institute of Justice. The homicide rate in Indianapolis, a metropolis of around 870,000 people, is greater than the U.S. average. Around 240 people were killed in the city that year, setting a new record.

All killings in the city, including cold cases, are the responsibility of the IMPD's Murder Unit. The Homicide Unit's detectives have access to cutting-edge investigational tools and get specialized training. Nonetheless, despite their efforts, cold cases are sometimes difficult to solve because of a lack of physical evidence, witnesses, or new leads.

The IMPD has established a Cold Case Unit as one method for resolving cold cases. Detectives with years of expertise work in the Cold Case Unit to investigate cold cases, using cutting-edge tools and strategies. In addition to cooperating closely with the FBI and the Indiana State Police, the Unit also works closely with other agencies to share information and resources.

Genetic evidence is another important tactic. The ability to recover DNA from previously useless evidence has completely changed the way that cold case investigations are conducted. There is a team of DNA analysts at the IMPD's Crime Lab that work to identify and compare DNA samples to possible suspects. This lab is one of only two accredited forensic laboratories in Indiana. Several cold cases have had suspects identified and ultimately convicted thanks to DNA evidence.

When it comes to missing and murdered people, the IMPD works closely with local groups to spread the word and solicit tips from the public. The IMPD initiated the "Know Your Value" program in 2020 to combat the high number of Black women who go missing or are killed in the city. The campaign utilized billboards, social media, and local events to spread its message.

Famous cold cases in Indianapolis

The number of homicides that go unsolved in Indianapolis remains high despite these measures. Advocates are demanding for increased funding and support for cold case investigations as families of victims continue to demand answers and justice for their loved ones.

The Marion County Prosecutor's Office has announced the formation of a new section to investigate and prosecute cold cases in light of this rising concern. Professional prosecutors and detectives will work in the Cold Case Unit to help victims' families find answers and ensure that those responsible for crimes face justice.

In sum, the problem of missing and murdered people is still a major obstacle for law enforcement and the public in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and the Marion County Prosecutor's Office are dedicated to finding those responsible for these crimes and bringing them to justice. Yet to solve this problem, authorities, advocates, and the public must work together to educate the public, offer aid, and apprehend the perpetrators.

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 Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD)'s strategy for investigating unsolved cases?

When looking into cold cases, IMPD may employ a number of possible methods, such as:

Using cutting-edge forensic tools like DNA analysis and fingerprint matching to the initial case investigation's evidence and forensic reports.

Looking back to the original investigation to see if there are any new leads or information that can be gleaned from the case files, evidence, and witness statements.

The process of re-interviewing suspects, victims, and witnesses to glean new information and spot discrepancies in their stories.

Making use of computers and forensics databases to track down leads and identify suspects.

Using incentives, collaborating with the media, and social media to solicit participation and collect data from the public.

Sharing knowledge and resources with other law enforcement organizations including the FBI and local prosecutors.

Having seasoned investigators look into cold cases on a regular basis in the hopes of finding fresh leads.

It's crucial to keep in mind that the specifics of each cold case may necessitate a different approach from law enforcement. The Indianapolis Police Department might have its own method for handling cold cases, too.

What resources are available to help solve cold cases?

In Indianapolis, Indiana, residents can use a variety of tools to investigate and potentially solve cold cases. To name a few examples of such materials:

Cold Case Unit, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) The IMPD has a Cold Case Unit that investigates homicides, sexual assaults, and missing person investigations that have gone cold. Detectives assigned to the team have undergone specific training in cold case investigations.

Cold Case Unit of the Indiana State Police investigates cold cases of homicide and disappearance in conjunction with local law enforcement organizations. In order to solve cases, the unit makes use of cutting-edge forensic tools and techniques, as well as a team of seasoned detectives.

Crime Stoppers is a nonprofit group that allows members of the public to report criminal activity anonymously. A monetary reward is offered by the group for information leading to an arrest in a cold case.

The NCMEC is the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and it helps both law enforcement and families when a kid goes missing or is exploited. The group employs forensic painters who can produce age-progression photographs of missing children, which can be used to assist locate them years after they vanished.

Because of the progress made in DNA analysis and forensic science, previously unsolved cases have been solved. Both the Indiana Metropolitan Police Department's Cold Case Unit and the Indiana State Police Cold Case Unit have access to cutting-edge forensic tools that can positively identify suspects and establish their ties to crimes.

People from the community can be a great resource in helping to solve cold cases, therefore it's crucial to reach out to them. Both the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department's Cold Case Unit and the Indiana State Police Cold Case Unit collaborate with locals to spread word of pending investigations and solicit tips from the public. The IMPD Cold Case Unit uses their Facebook page to update the public and solicit tips from the general public.

Major cities surrounding Indianapolis, Indiana

Louisville, Kentucky
Cincinnati, Ohio
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Chicago, Illinois
Columbus, Ohio

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