Facebook Pixel

New York Cold Cases

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

New York, New York Cold Cases

The city of New York, New York, has a large population and a long history. Sadly, the city is no exception to the nationwide trend of "cold cases," or cases of missing or murdered people that have remained unexplained for years or even decades.

More than 1,300 unsolved cases dating back to 1980 have been documented in New York City alone by the National Missing and Unidentified People System (NamUs). From missing persons to murder investigations, these incidents affect people of all ages, genders, and ethnicities.

Many methods have been devised by the New York City Police Department (NYPD) to help solve cold cases and bring closure to victims' families. Using cutting-edge forensics equipment to reexamine crime scene evidence is a key tactic. DNA testing, ballistics evaluation, and other forensic methods may be used. In recent years, tremendous advances have been made thanks to the development of new technologies that have helped law enforcement agencies identify suspects and bring them to justice.

Public outreach is another tactic that can be used to find new clues and information about the cases. This can involve engaging with community organizations and advocacy groups to spread the word about the incidents and encourage individuals to come forward with any information they may have as well as making public appeals through media outlets, social media, and other platforms.

To help families of missing individuals and homicide victims deal with their grief and keep their loved ones' cases in the public view, law enforcement authorities work closely with them. The NYPD has established Victim Services to aid the families of missing individuals and homicide victims during all stages of the investigation and judicial proceedings.

Without tangible evidence or eyewitnesses, investigating cold cases can be extremely difficult. Since many of these instances were first investigated decades ago, progress may be slow if no new evidence or technology has emerged since then. The NYPD has multiple solutions to these problems.

One tactic is to re-interview previous interviewees, such as family members and witnesses, to determine whether they have any new information or if their memories have altered. Some potential witnesses may feel more at ease talking to police now than they did in the past.

Famous cold cases in New York

Sharing information and resources with other law enforcement agencies is another tactic. This includes the FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Some previously unsolved cases have been solved thanks to this group's efforts in New York and elsewhere.

Law enforcement agencies have not been able to solve all of these instances, which has left many people in need of closure. The NYPD puts in many hours and uses every tool at its disposal to bring those responsible to justice for the victims and their loved ones.

Law enforcement organizations frequently utilize internet communities like social media in order to bring attention to cold cases and find fresh leads. The New York City Police Department often updates their social media pages with new information on cold cases and pleas for the public's help in solving them.

However, it is important to note that cold cases remain a major problem in the Big Apple. 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 New York Police Department (NYPD)'s strategy for investigating unsolved cases?

There is a special unit within the New York City Police Department (NYPD) tasked with looking into cold cases of murder and disappearance. Detectives with extensive experience and expertise in cold cases make up the team.

The New York City Police Department (NYPD) takes the following measures while investigating cold cases:

The Cold Case Squad's first step is to analyze the case file, evidence, and witness statements to see if there are any new leads or evidence that was missed during the original investigation.

The squad reinterviews potential witnesses, including those who may have seen or heard something, as well as their loved ones, to discover if their memories have changed or if they have any new information regarding the case.

The team use cutting-edge forensic tools, including as DNA analysis, to re-examine material and find fresh leads.

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

The team reaches out to the public through various channels to solicit tips and encourage citizens to come forward with any information they may have regarding the case.

The New York City Police Department takes these and other measures, but they also use technology to aid their investigations. DNA evidence, for instance, can be checked against a database of suspected perpetrators.

The division also works closely with the loved ones of those who have gone missing or been murdered, giving them with assistance to help them deal with their grief and keep their cases in the public eye. The NYPD has established Victim Services to aid the families of missing individuals and homicide victims during all stages of the investigation and judicial proceedings.

Cooperation with other law enforcement agencies and organizations is another crucial part of the NYPD's strategy for investigating cold cases. They exchange data and resources with the FBI and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

In general, the NYPD's approach to cold case investigations includes a review of all available evidence and information, the application of cutting-edge forensic technology, partnerships with other organizations and the public, and the dissemination of information to the general public in an effort to find fresh leads. The department's top priority is solving unsolved crimes so that victims' families can find peace and justice can be served.

What resources are available to help solve cold cases?

Some of the tools at New York's disposal for resolving cold cases are as follows:

The New York State Police provides law enforcement organizations with investigative services, such as help with cold cases. They have a special team for looking into cold cases, and they can lend their resources and knowledge to local police departments.

In New York City, the police force has a special unit called the Cold Case Squad that looks into cold cases of homicide that haven't been solved. The unit provides services like as forensic analysis and DNA testing, and also works directly with the relatives of the victims.

Database of missing and unidentified persons in New York State is kept by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. Law enforcement cases and those being looked into by the Division's Missing People Clearinghouse are both represented in the database.

The New York State Missing People Clearinghouse is part of the state's Division of Criminal Justice Services and is in charge of organizing the search for missing people across the state. They provide resources to relatives of missing persons and aid law enforcement agencies in their investigations of missing person situations.

The Doe Network is a group of private citizens who work together to help authorities solve cold cases involving unidentified or unfound persons. The New York chapter of this organization is able to help both police and relatives of missing people by providing them with information and support.

The National Missing and Unidentified People System (NamUs) is a database that includes information about people who have gone missing or have yet to be identified. The National Institute of Justice oversees the database, which is open to law enforcement, medical examiners, and the general public. NamUs can help authorities find missing people and identify remains that have been found.

Major cities surrounding New York, New York

Brooklyn, New York
Queens, New York
The Bronx, New York
Staten Island, New York
Jersey City, New Jersey

Get Your Free Step-By-Step Citizen Detective Guide

Get Your Free Step-By-Step Citizen Detective Guide

Top New York Cold Cases