The victims' loved ones and the community at large are still affected by crimes that go unsolved, and this is symbolized by cold cases. Families and law enforcement in Kansas City, Missouri, have been searching for answers to a number of cold cases, including homicides and disappearances, for decades.
The FBI reports that between 1980 and 2019, there were over 700 homicides and over 100 missing person cases in Kansas City that have yet to be solved. These numbers highlight the devastating effect that unsolved crimes have on neighborhoods.
These mysteries have various root causes. Some instances may have been mishandled during the initial investigation, while others may have lacked necessary physical evidence or witnesses. It can be more trickier to investigate these crimes because many of them predate modern forensics equipment.
Kansas City police are dedicated to solving these cold cases despite the difficulties they pose. Unsolved murders and disappearances are handled by detectives at the Kansas City Police Department's Cold Case Unit. Providing victims' loved ones with answers and bringing those guilty to justice are the unit's top priorities.
Reviewing and analyzing the case file, reinterviewing witnesses and suspects, employing new technology, partnering with other agencies, requesting the public's help, and maintaining touch with victim families are all standard operating procedures for the agency while investigating cold cases.
In 2018, the Cold Case Team was able to solve a murder case from 1989 concerning the death of Sarah DeLeon. The Cold Case Unit finally solved the case after nearly 30 years by discovering new evidence that led to the suspect's arrest and conviction.