Many homicides and cases of missing people in the Michigan city of Lansing have gone decades without being solved, leaving many families without answers or closure. The Lansing Police Department reports that there are now over 60 cold case homicides that date back to the 1970s. Since 1980, we've compiled some data on the number of unsolved cases involving homicide or disappearance in Lansing, Michigan.
Around 500 cases of missing people have been reported in Lansing between 1980 and 2021, with about two-thirds involving adults and 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 open missing persons investigations in Michigan, and several dozen of those are in the city of Lansing alone, as reported by the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs). Adults, rather than minors, make up the vast majority of victims in these situations.
Almost 200 people were murdered in Lansing 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 Lansing 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 Lansing Police Department and other organisations have been trying to get more people interested in helping solve cold cases and get more funding for the inquiry. The department developed a cold case website in 2020 with details on how the public can provide information and tips regarding unresolved homicide and missing person cases.
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.
Using Genetic evidence, the Lansing Police Department's Cold Case Unit solved a murder case from 1985 in 2021. A girl of 16 was discovered dead in a park near Lansing. For over 35 years, police had no leads, but in 2015, Genetic evidence linked a suspect to the scene of the crime.