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St. Paul Cold Cases

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St. Paul, Minnesota Cold Cases

There are a number of decades-old homicide and missing person cases in St. Paul, Minnesota. The St. Paul Police Department reports that there are over a hundred cold cases of homicide that date back to the 1970s. From 1980, we've compiled some data on the number of unsolved cases involving homicide or disappearance in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Almost a thousand incidents of missing people have been documented in St. Paul between 1980 and 2021, with about two-thirds 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.

There are now over 700 missing person cases in Minnesota, and several dozen of those are in the city of St. Paul alone, 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 200 people have been murdered in St. Paul since 1980, and about a third of those cases have not been solved. Many of these incidents have not been resolved and are still being looked at.

Due to a lack of manpower and funds, the Murder Unit of the St. Paul Police Department has been unable to solve many of these murders. Lack of physical evidence, unwilling witnesses, and a lack of information all contribute to the large percentage of unresolved homicide cases.

The St. Paul Police Department and other organisations have been trying to get more people interested in solving cold cases and provide more funding for police. 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.

Famous cold cases in St. Paul

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.

As a whole, the large number of unsolved cases of homicide and disappearance in St. Paul, Minnesota since 1980 highlights the importance of continuing to bring attention to and 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 St. Paul Police Department (SPPD)'s strategy for investigating unsolved cases?

Unsolved murder and disappearance cases are investigated by the St. Paul 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 Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, for example, might provide the unit with access to even more resources and knowledge as it works to solve the case.

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 St. Paul Police Department is dedicated to exhausting all avenues in order to bring these cold cases to a satisfactory conclusion and provide victims' families some peace of mind. The department also actively seeks for public participation and feedback in fixing these cases. Each and every lead is pursued by the unit, and the department's cold case website allows the public to submit tips and information relevant to these investigations.

What resources are available to help solve cold cases?

St. Paul, Minnesota, has a number of resources at its disposal to aid in the resolution of cold cases:

A special team inside the St. Paul Police Department is devoted to looking into cold cases, such as murders or disappearances that have gone unsolved for a long time. The team collaborates with victims' loved ones and use a wide range of investigation techniques to bring justice to those who have been wronged.

Bureau of Criminal Apprehension of Minnesota: The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension offers forensic analysis and investigative support to local law enforcement agencies throughout the state.

The Ramsey County Sheriff's Office collaborates closely with the St. Paul Police Department to solve cold cases and assists with investigations in St. Paul and the surrounding area.

The Minnesota Cold Case Playing Cards are a one-of-a-kind program designed to help solve unsolved crimes. Inmates in Minnesota jails are given cards with victim photos and information in an effort to generate new leads.

The use of private detectives is another option for unraveling unsolved mysteries. It is their job to use their knowledge and resources to find clues and evidence that will lead to a successful conclusion to a case.

Support from members of the community is another important factor in resolving cold cases. When conducting an investigation, the St. Paul Police Department frequently collaborates with local groups and organizations to gather useful tips and information from the public.

Major cities surrounding St. Paul, Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota
Bloomington, Minnesota
Eagan, Minnesota
Woodbury, Minnesota
Stillwater, Minnesota

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