Unsolved crimes, also known as "cold cases," are a stark reminder of the anguish and sadness that can persist long after a loved one has been lost or murdered. Several unsolved crimes in Springfield, Missouri date back to the 1980s, leaving families and law enforcement with unanswered questions.
There are more than fifty missing persons cases and approximately sixty homicide cases in Springfield that have not been solved as of yet, according to information compiled by the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) and dating back to 1980. Families and loved ones of victims of all ages, walks of life, and circumstances have been heartbroken.
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.
Springfield police are dedicated to cracking these cold cases despite the difficulties they pose. Unsolved murders and disappearances are investigated by detectives of the Springfield Police Department's Cold Case Unit. The major mission of the team is to answer the questions of victims' loved ones and to bring those responsible to justice.
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 Unit solved a homicide case from 1987 involving the deaths of Sherri Scherer, age 31, and her daughter Megan, age 12. After more than 30 years, the Cold Case Unit finally solved the case with the use of new DNA evidence that led to the suspect's arrest and conviction.
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.