Many homicides and cases of missing people have gone decades without being resolved in the city of Detroit, Michigan. Many of the almost 4,000 homicides that have gone unsolved in Detroit since the 1960s are considered cold cases, according to the department's statistics. Since 1980, we've compiled some data on unsolved murder and disappearance cases in Detroit, Michigan.
Around 12,000 cases of missing people were recorded in Detroit between 1980 and 2021, with about two-thirds of them being adults and the remaining one-third involving minors. Some of these cases go unsolved for a long time, even though the vast majority are eventually closed.
Almost two thousand people are missing in Michigan, and hundreds of them are from the city of Detroit, according to the National Missing and Unidentified People System (NamUs). Adults, rather than minors, make up the vast majority of victims in these situations.
More than 8,000 people have been murdered in Detroit since 1980, with nearly two-thirds of the killings still unexplained as of 2021. Many of these incidents have not been resolved and are still being looked at.
The Murder Bureau of the Detroit Police Department is in charge of looking into these incidents, but due to a lack of manpower, many of them go cold. Lack of physical evidence, unwilling witnesses, and a lack of information all contribute to the large percentage of unresolved homicide cases.
The Detroit Police Department and other local groups have been actively lobbying for more funding and attention to be directed on solving long-cold crimes in the city. The agency has released a cold case webpage in 2019 with details on how the public can provide information and tips about unresolved homicide and missing person investigations.