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Kansas City Cold Cases

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Kansas City, Missouri Cold Cases

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.

Famous cold cases in Kansas City

Unfortunately, while some of these cold cases have been solved, the vast majority have not. Cold Case Unit detectives are still looking for new clues and evidence that could help solve these crimes as victims' families still wait for answers.

Recent developments in forensic technology have provided investigators with new resources that have led to the resolution of several long-cold cases. Cases that had been unsolved for decades could now be brought to closure because to advances in DNA analysis and genetic genealogy. Yet, because to their high costs and lengthy implementation times, smaller police forces like the Kansas City Police Department may find it challenging to routinely deploy such systems.

Solving cold cases often requires the help of the community. Anybody with knowledge about these crimes is urged to contact the Kansas City Police Department. A apparently insignificant detail may turn out to be the key to solving a case.

Justice delayed is not justice denied, and the murders and disappearances in Kansas City, Missouri, are proof of that. No matter how long it takes, the Cold Case Unit's detectives will do all in their power to bring closure to the victims' loved ones. The obstacles are substantial, but the will to solve these instances is much stronger.

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 Kansas City Police Department (KCPD)'s strategy for investigating unsolved cases?

The Kansas City (MO) Police Department (KCPD) has a specialized Cold Case Unit that looks into cold cases such unidentified bodies and missing people. Members of the unit are seasoned detectives who focus on solving cold cases and bringing closure to victims' families.

Among the many methods used by the department in its pursuit of cold case solutions are:

In order to find any new information or leads that may have been missed during the first investigation, the Cold Case Unit thoroughly evaluates the case file, which includes all available evidence, witness statements, and other information pertaining to the case.

Cold Case Unit detectives will try to track down and re-interview initial investigation witnesses and suspects in the hopes that they would provide fresh information that will lead to an arrest and resolution of the case.

The department may evaluate the case's evidence using cutting-edge forensic tools like DNA and fingerprint analysis.

The department may coordinate with the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the Missouri State Highway Patrol in order to pool their respective resources and experience in order to solve the case.

The agency may issue a news release or share information about the case on social media in the hopes that someone with knowledge will come forward.

Cold Case Unit detectives may keep in touch with victims' loved ones on a regular basis to share investigation updates and lend emotional support.

The Kansas City Police Department is also involved with NamUs, a national database that links missing person reports with unidentified remains. Department officials hope that relatives of missing persons would use NamUs to share information about their loved ones and end the years-long hunt for their lost loved ones.

In sum, the KCPD is dedicated to exhausting all avenues in order to solve cold cases and provide closure to victims' loved ones. The department also actively seeks for public participation and feedback in fixing these cases.

What resources are available to help solve cold cases?

In the Kansas City, Missouri area, you can find a number of resources aimed towards solving cold cases. Among these are:

The Cold Case Squad of the Kansas City Police Department is charged with resolving unsolved cases over the previous decade. In order to solve these crimes, they collaborate with families and other law enforcement authorities to collect information and leads.

Crime Stoppers is a nonprofit group that allows anyone to report crime tips anonymously over the phone. Use this number to report information about cold cases as well.

State Highway Patrol of Missouri: The Missouri State Highway Patrol's Missing People and Unsolved Crimes Unit collaborates with local law enforcement to investigate cold cases around the state.

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) aids local authorities in their efforts to locate missing and abducted children by providing them with information and services. Cold case investigations involving minors can also benefit from their expertise.

Family members or individuals might employ private investigators to look into unsolved situations. They have access to tools not available to law enforcement and can offer a new perspective.

Major cities surrounding Kansas City, Missouri

Overland Park, Kansas
Olathe, Kansas
Independence, Missouri
Lee's Summit, Missouri
Shawnee, Kansas

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