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Concord, New Hampshire Cold Cases

Concord, New Hampshire, is no exception to the nationwide trend of law enforcement organizations struggling to solve cold cases. For years, often decades, families and communities have been left searching for answers because authorities have not been able to determine who committed the crime or discover sufficient evidence to make an arrest.

There have been many unsolved cases of homicide or disappearance in Concord since 1980. As of March 2023, 20 cold cases dating back to 1980 have been reported in Concord by the National Missing and Unidentified People System (NamUs). Twelve are designated as missing people cases, while eight are homicide investigations.

Concord's clearance rate for homicide cases has been persistently lower than the national average despite law enforcement's best efforts to solve these cases. While the national homicide clearance rate in 2020 was 61.6%, the rate in Concord was only 44.4%. This indicates that more than half of the homicides in Concord have not been solved, which is a serious problem for 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.

Concord's transient population is another possible contributor to the city's high rate of cold cases. Concord, with a population of just more than 40,000, is a small city with a high turnover rate. This can make it more challenging to locate potential witnesses and reconstruct what transpired.

Famous cold cases in Concord

Concord's victims' families dealing with unsolved cold cases often report feeling disappointed and helpless. 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. Concord is home to many groups including the New Hampshire Cold Case Unit and the New Hampshire League of Investigators that work to aid missing people' families.

Concord law enforcement has taken action to investigate and resolve cold cases. Concord's police force has a special division to look into cold cases that have gone cold. 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.

Concord has had some significant breakthroughs in solving cold cases in recent years. A guy was charged with murder in 2021 for the death of a lady whose body was discovered in a Concord river in 1986. 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.

Law enforcement agencies in Concord and across the country continue to struggle with cold cases. 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 Concord Police Department (CPD)'s strategy for investigating unsolved cases?

Unsolved and "cold" cases are investigated by the Concord Police Department's Cold Case Unit. 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.

Concord has both a Cold Case Unit and a Missing People Section to look into mysterious disappearances. Like the Cold Case Unit, the Missing People Unit looks through historical evidence and interviews old and new witnesses to find new leads in cold cases.

Concord police investigate cold cases by reviewing all available evidence and information, using cutting-edge forensic technology, partnering with other organizations and the public, and reaching out to the general public in an effort to find fresh leads. To guarantee that its personnel are equipped to conduct cold case investigations, the agency also provides training in this area. The Concord Police Department as a whole is dedicated to solving cold cases and delivering justice and peace of mind to victims' loved ones.

What resources are available to help solve cold cases?

In Concord, New Hampshire, you can use a few different tools to investigate and potentially solve cold cases:

The New Hampshire Department of Justice formed the Cold Case Unit in 2009 to assist with the investigation of cold cases, including murders, disappearances, and unidentified bodies. They cooperate with authorities on a local, state, and federal level to solve these crimes.

The New Hampshire State Police Major Crime Unit examines statewide major crimes such as homicides and suspicious deaths. They collaborate extensively with state, county, and municipal police departments.

Forensic analysis, evidence gathering, and other resources that may be useful in solving cold cases are all provided to local law enforcement agencies through the New Hampshire Division of Homeland Security and Disaster Management.

The New Hampshire Cold Case Alliance is a charitable group that works to bring light to cold cases and comfort to victims' loved ones.

NamUs stands for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and Adults, and it is a database that helps local, state, and federal organizations look for missing persons and unidentified remains. Additionally, they offer tools like forensic analysis and DNA testing that can be used to help solve cold cases.

Major cities surrounding Concord, New Hampshire

Manchester, New Hampshire
Nashua, New Hampshire
Lowell, Massachusetts
Lawrence, Massachusetts
Portland, Maine

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