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Lansing Cold Cases

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Lansing, Michigan Cold Cases

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.

Famous cold cases in Lansing

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 cases of homicide and disappearance in Lansing, Michigan, since 1980, highlights the importance of maintaining efforts to raise awareness and dedicate resources for these investigations. 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.

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 Lansing Police Department (LPD)'s strategy for investigating unsolved cases?

The Cold Case Unit of the Lansing Police Department looks into murders and disappearances that have yet to be solved. 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.

As a whole, the Lansing Police Department's Cold Case Unit is dedicated to exhausting all avenues in order to find justice for the victims' loved ones in these cold cases.

What resources are available to help solve cold cases?

In Lansing, Michigan, there are a few tools at your disposal to investigate cold cases:

The Lansing Police Department is responsible for the investigation of killings and other major crimes committed within the municipal limits of Lansing. They have a group of investigators whose job it is to revisit previous cases that have yet to be solved.

The Cold Case Unit of the Michigan State Police is responsible for investigating all cold cases in the state, including murders, disappearances, and mysterious bodies. In an effort to address these instances, they collaborate with local authorities and other organizations.

Nonprofit organization Crime Stoppers gives prizes for information leading to the identification and conviction of criminals. If you have any information regarding a cold case or any criminal activity, you can contact them through a tip line.

Michigan Cold Cases is a database of information about cold cases in Michigan, including murders, disappearances, and unidentified bodies. The site is managed by a former police officer who is passionate about solving cold cases and providing justice to the victims' loved ones.

NamUs is a nationwide database that stores and disseminates data on missing person and unidentified remains cases across the country. NamUs is a website where law enforcement agencies may contribute information about missing people, and the public can search for clues to identify them or connect them to unidentified remains.

Major cities surrounding Lansing, Michigan

East Lansing, Michigan
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Battle Creek, Michigan
Flint, Michigan

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