There have been several unsolved homicides and missing person cases in Rochester, New York, dating back to the 1980s. Many of these cases have not been closed despite progress in some over the past few years.
There are now 136 cold cases in Rochester, with some dating back to 1980, according to data from the National Missing and Unidentified People System (NamUs). There are 63 missing person cases and 73 homicide cases among these reports. There are people of various ages, both sexes, and different ethnicities involved in these cases, and many of them have been unsolved for decades.
Law enforcement in Rochester has evolved a number of approaches to the difficult and time-consuming task of solving cold cases. Re-examining evidence from crime scenes with the help of cutting-edge forensic tools like DNA analysis is a common tactic. 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 Rochester Police Department has established Victim Services to aid the loved ones of those who have gone missing or been the victims of violent crimes during the investigation and legal 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 Rochester Police Department has multiple plans in place to deal with these issues.
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.