Facebook Pixel

Great Falls Cold Cases

Stay on top of all things cold cases, advocacy, and true crime with our twice per week newsletter

Great Falls, Montana Cold Cases

There have been several cases of murder and disappearance in Great Falls, Montana over the years, and some of them have yet to be solved. There are currently 12 missing persons cases and 10 homicide cases in Great Falls that have gone unsolved since 1980, per the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs). These examples contain victims of varying ages, sexes, and socioeconomic backgrounds, and serve as a timely reminder of the significance of solving cold cases and offering victims' families some measure of closure.

Unsolved cases might be difficult to crack because crucial evidence or witnesses may have been lost in the intervening years. Yet, the Great Falls police department has a number of tools and methods it can use to investigate cold cases.

The Great Falls police department relies heavily on a comprehensive evaluation of all relevant evidence in each investigation. Forensic evidence, witness testimony, and other leads that have been ignored up until this point all fall under this category. Cases may be solved with the aid of cutting-edge technologies like DNA analysis.

Reaching out to the public for input is also crucial. The police frequently use the press and social media to find new leads in cold cases. It is not uncommon for an anonymous tip to finally crack a case that has been open for years.

An integral part of law enforcement's approach to cracking cold cases is victim advocacy. Sometimes it takes years for families of the missing and murdered to get answers regarding their loved ones' disappearances and murders. The Great Falls police department is committed to helping these victims' loved ones in every way they can, from providing information on the investigation's progress to making available counseling and emotional support services.

Great Falls is home to a number of additional tools that might assist law enforcement with cold case investigations. The Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) of the Montana Department of Justice, for instance, provides forensic services like DNA testing and investigation of crime scenes. Along with local authorities, the DCI investigates and attempts to solve cold cases.

Famous cold cases in Great Falls

Families and law enforcement agencies can also benefit from the assistance provided by non-profit groups. Emotional support, therapy, and aid raising money for rewards and other resources to solve cold cases can all be found through these groups.

Cold case investigations are always team efforts between law enforcement, victims' loved ones, and the general public. It is crucial that law enforcement agencies in Great Falls keep working to solve these cases and bring closure to the families of the victims, who have waited far too long for answers.

Some of the cold cases in Great Falls may be solved in the coming years as new forensic technology continue to evolve and public awareness of missing people cases grows. Nonetheless, it is essential to keep in mind that even cold cases can provide valuable insights for law enforcement and inform future approaches to investigating crimes.

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 Great Falls Police Department (GFPD)'s strategy for investigating unsolved cases?

In order to solve cold cases, the GFPD utilizes a wide range of investigative techniques, such as re-examining and re-examining evidence, conducting interviews with witnesses and family members, making use of cutting-edge forensic technologies, and working in tandem with other law enforcement agencies and experts. The following are some methods that police forces commonly use while looking into cold cases:

Investigating a cold case often begins with a thorough evaluation of all available evidence and a reexamination of key pieces of evidence utilizing contemporary forensic methods. Putting physical evidence, such as fingerprints or DNA samples, through their paces.

In addition to conducting new interviews with witnesses and family members, law enforcement may also reinterview those they spoke with during the initial inquiry. The information gleaned from these interviews could be crucial to solving the case.

Using cutting-edge forensics techniques: New forensics tools have significantly improved police work on cold cases. DNA testing, digital forensics, and ballistics analysis are all examples of cutting-edge technologies that can yield crucial evidence that was previously unavailable during the initial investigation.

Experts and other law enforcement agencies may work together to solve a cold case if they have specific expertise or resources that could be useful in the investigation. Forensics labs, criminal profilers, and other specialists may be consulted for this purpose.

When it comes to finding new leads and gathering information from the public, police departments may also use public outreach and social media. Press conferences, social media campaigns, and other types of media outreach could be part of this strategy.

Factors including the seriousness of the crime, the possibility of fresh evidence being unearthed, and the impact on the community can help law enforcement authorities decide which cold cases to prioritize.

These methods are examples of those that can be used by law enforcement to help solve cold cases. The approach taken will be determined by the circumstances of each case and the resources available to the investigative body.

What resources are available to help solve cold cases?

Great Falls, Montana, law enforcement and victim families have access to a number of options designed to bring closure to cold cases. Here are a few illustrations:

The Montana Department of Justice runs a Missing People Clearinghouse to aid in the search for missing persons, the resolution of cold cases, and the comforting of families left behind. The Clearinghouse compiles information about missing people and unidentified bodies and offers it to local authorities so that they can better investigate the cases.

When a loved one goes missing, their loved ones can use the National Missing and Unidentified People System (NamUs) to input information and look for possible matches. Information about unidentified remains can also be submitted by law enforcement agencies.

DNA databases allow law enforcement to compare DNA evidence from cold cases to DNA profiles in the database. DNA databases include the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). If a match is found, it can be used to track down criminals or link previously unrelated instances.

Physical evidence, like as DNA, fingerprints, and ballistics, can be analyzed at a forensic laboratory to reveal crucial information that may lead to the resolution of cold cases. Local and regional forensic laboratories can assist law enforcement in analyzing evidence and solving cold cases.

Some non-governmental groups are dedicated to assisting relatives of missing persons and solving cold cases. These groups may aid victims' families, inform the general public about cold cases, and lend a hand to law enforcement in their investigations.

Facebook and Twitter, among others, can help authorities and families of missing people find information and spread awareness about cold cases. Authorities can utilize social media to publish images and other information regarding missing people or unidentified remains, as well as seek the public for information and give updates on ongoing investigations.

These are but a sample of the tools at your disposal in Great Falls, Montana, to assist bring closure to cold cases. These tools can be used by law enforcement, families of missing persons, and members of the community working together to solve these cases.

Major cities surrounding Great Falls, Montana

Helena, Montana
Havre, Montana
Lewistown, Montana
Cut Bank, Montana
Shelby, Montana

Get Your Free Step-By-Step Citizen Detective Guide

Get Your Free Step-By-Step Citizen Detective Guide