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Flint, Michigan Cold Cases
Many homicides and cases of missing people in the city of Flint, Michigan have gone decades without being investigated, leaving many families without answers or closure. The Flint Police Department reports that over two hundred homicides have gone unsolved since the 1970s; many of these murders are now considered cold cases. Since 1980, we've compiled some data on unsolved incidents of homicide and disappearance in Flint, Michigan.
Around 500 cases of missing people have been reported in Flint between 1980 and 2021, with about two-thirds of those involving 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.
There are now over 2,000 missing person cases in Michigan, and several dozen of those are in the city of Flint, as reported by the National Missing and Unidentified People System (NamUs). Adults, rather than minors, make up the vast majority of victims in these situations.
Almost 800 people were murdered in Flint between 1980 and 2021, and over a third of those murders have never been solved. Many of these incidents have not been resolved and are still being looked at.
The Murder Section of the Flint 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 Flint Police Department and other local groups have been trying to get more people interested in helping solve cold cases and get more funding for doing so. 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.
Famous cold cases in Flint
Technological progress has also contributed to the resolution of cold cases. DNA analysis and other forensic techniques have allowed police to revisit old cases in the hopes of finding new leads or new pieces of evidence.
The Cold Case Unit of the Flint Police Department used Genetic evidence to solve a homicide case from 1986 in 2021. A girl of 15 was discovered dead in a park near Flint. For nearly 35 years, police had no leads, but in 2018, Genetic evidence linked a suspect to the scene of the crime.
The importance of solving cold cases extends beyond the victims' loved ones and into the larger community. These instances frequently involve acts of violence that have been ignored, freeing the offender to perpetrate other acts of violence.
Also, resolving cold cases can give victims and their loved ones a feeling of closure and justice. Many victims' loved ones spend years, perhaps decades, seeking for answers; settling a cold case might finally give them peace of mind.
The large number of unsolved missing and homicide cases in Flint, Michigan since 1980 demonstrates the ongoing importance of bringing attention to and resources for these cases. There is optimism that some of these cases may be solved, bringing closure and justice to the families of the victims, thanks to technological developments and improved collaboration between law enforcement and community organizations.
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 Flint Police Department (FPD)'s strategy for investigating unsolved cases?
Unsolved murder and disappearance cases are investigated by the Flint Police Department's Cold Case Unit. Members of the unit have undergone specific training to learn how to investigate cold cases.
These are some of the typical actions used by the unit when examining cold cases:
The detectives will look over all of the available evidence, witness statements, and other information linked to the case to see if there are any new leads or information that was missed during the initial investigation.
Detectives will try to track down and re-interview those who were interviewed during the initial investigation to determine if they have any new information or insights that could lead to an arrest or guilty plea.
Evidence from the case may be reexamined using cutting-edge forensic techniques, such as DNA or fingerprint analysis.
Working with the FBI or the Michigan State Police, for example, could provide the unit with access to additional resources and expertise as it investigates the crime.
The team may go public with details of the investigation via channels like press releases and social media in the hopes that someone would come forward with information.
The investigators may keep in touch with the family of the victim on a regular basis to give them updates on the case and show their support.
Ultimately, the Cold Case Unit of the Flint Police Department is dedicated to exhausting all avenues in order to solve these cold cases and provide closure to the victims' loved ones.
What resources are available to help solve cold cases?
Many tools are at your disposal in Flint, Michigan, to help with solving cold cases:
The Cold Case Unit of the Flint Police Department is responsible for examining cases that have been cold for an extended period of time. They collaborate with authorities at all levels to find answers to these mysteries.
Genesee County Crime Stoppers and the City of Flint's: Crime Stoppers is a nonprofit group that pays out rewards to those who provide information that helps solve cold cases. Any information provided will be treated with the strictest confidence.
The Michigan State Police will help local police departments with their cold case investigations. A Missing People Coordination Unit helps families and authorities in the search for missing people.
The Doe Network is a global, non-profit organization that collaborates with law enforcement to identify missing people in cold cases.
Many unsolved cases have been cleared up thanks to the development of DNA analysis techniques. In order to identify potential suspects in cold cases, the Michigan State Police Crime Lab maintains a DNA database.
Major cities surrounding Flint, Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Grand Rapids, Michigan