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Carson City Cold Cases

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Carson City, Nevada Cold Cases

Carson City, Nevada shares the same problem with cold cases as many other communities across the United States. For years, even decades, families and communities may be left wondering why authorities haven't been able to solve the crime or bring the offender to justice.

There have been numerous unsolved cases of homicide or disappearance in Carson City since 1980. There are 21 cold cases in Carson City dating back to 1980, according to data from the National Missing and Unidentified People System (NamUs). There are 13 homicide investigations and 8 missing person investigations.

When compared to other Nevada communities, Carson City's number of cold cases has stayed low. Unfortunately, this tiny sample size does not reduce the impact on communities and families who are still searching for answers.

The clearance percentage for homicide cases in Carson City has been persistently lower than the national average despite efforts to solve these cases. FBI statistics show that in 2020, Carson City had a lower homicide clearance rate than the national average of 61.6%. As a result, over 40% of homicides in Carson City have not been solved, which is a problem for both police and the local population.

It's possible that the absence of witnesses or physical evidence is making it so difficult to clear cases. Investigators often have few clues to follow, and if no new information or tools become available, a case can fall cold.

The limited population of Carson City is another possible contributor to the long-term survival of cold cases there. Carson City is a small city with a population of just over 50,000, so everyone knows one other. Without inflicting undue stress or discomfort, this can make it more difficult to locate witnesses or construct a timeline of events.

Famous cold cases in Carson City

When there is no resolution in sight for a case, the loved ones of the victims in Carson City can feel helpless and disappointed. Several people have taken to social media and other online forums in an effort to get the word out about their loved ones' disappearances and hopefully find some answers. The Nevada Child Seekers and the Missing People Advocacy Network are just two of the many groups based in Carson City that try to aid the families of missing persons.

Carson City police are making an effort to solve cold cases. There is a special cold case unit at the Carson City Sheriff's Office that looks into cold cases. In order to evaluate old evidence and find fresh leads, the unit collaborates closely with other law enforcement organizations and makes use of cutting-edge forensic technology.

Some high-profile cold cases in Carson City have been solved in recent years. A woman's body was discovered in a ditch in Carson City in 1982, and in 2019 a guy was arrested and charged with her murder. The breakthrough occurred when the suspect's DNA was linked to that of a family member in a national DNA database. DNA technology's capacity to shed light on crimes decades after they were committed was on full display in this case.

Solving cold cases is difficult for police in Carson City and elsewhere. There is, however, reason to believe that more crimes can and will be solved with the help of the community, the application of cutting-edge technology, and the commitment of law enforcement officials.

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 Carson City Sheriff's Office (CCSO)'s strategy for investigating unsolved cases?

Unsolved and "cold" cases are investigated by the Carson City Sheriff's Office, which has a special unit for doing just that. The department has a multi-pronged approach to solving cold cases:

In order to determine whether any fresh leads or evidence were missed during the initial investigation, the Cold Case Unit goes through all of the case files, evidence, and witness statements.

The team reinterviews potential witnesses, relatives, and others with knowledge of the case to discover whether their memories have altered or if they have any new information.

In order to reexamine evidence and find fresh leads, the team employs cutting-edge forensic technology and DNA analysis.

The Cold Case Unit collaborates with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement agencies to share information and resources.

The unit uses several platforms to reach out to the public in the hopes that someone may recognize the case and come forward with information.

The Carson City Sheriff's Office has a Missing Persons Detail in addition to the Cold Case Unit to look into such cases. The Missing People Detail performs comparable tasks to those of the Cold Case Unit, including the examination of old case files, the reinterview of key witnesses, and the application of forensic technology to the discovery of fresh clues.

The Carson City Sheriff's Office approaches cold case investigations by reviewing all available evidence and information, using cutting-edge forensic technology, working with other agencies and the public, and reaching out to the public in order to find fresh leads. To guarantee that its personnel are equipped to conduct cold case investigations, the agency also provides training in this area. As a whole, the Carson City Sheriff's Office is focused on solving cold cases so that victims' families can find peace and those responsible can be held accountable.

What resources are available to help solve cold cases?

Carson City, Nevada has a number of tools at its disposal to investigate and solve cold cases:

Carson City is not immune to the unsolved homicides and missing persons cases that are investigated by the Nevada Department of Public Safety's (DPS) Cold Case Unit.

The Carson City Sheriff's Office has a dedicated Cold Case Unit that works closely with the DPS's Cold Case Unit to solve cold cases.

Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers, a national organization that helps solve crimes and cold cases. Get in touch with Crime Stoppers in Carson City by dialing 775-322-4900.

Carson City's local police department receives assistance from the Nevada Division of Investigation (NDI), a statewide organization. Contact the NDI at (775) 684-7410.

NamUs stands for the National Missing and Unidentified People System, and it is a national database that aids law enforcement agencies and families of missing persons in their search for and identification of missing persons and unidentified remains. Go to www.namus.gov to check it out.

Major cities surrounding Carson City, Nevada

Reno, Nevada
Sparks, Nevada
South Lake Tahoe, California
Incline Village, Nevada
Gardnerville, Nevada

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