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Cincinnati Cold Cases

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Cincinnati, Ohio Cold Cases

Cold cases involving missing or murdered people are not uncommon in Cincinnati, Ohio, or any other city in the United States. Families who have been waiting for answers in these situations for years, maybe decades, often feel like they will never get them. While every case is different, the statistics surrounding these types of crimes can be rather disturbing and provide light on the difficulties law enforcement agencies have when attempting to solve them.

There have been approximately 500 unsolved cases of homicide or disappearance in Cincinnati since 1980. Several of these cases have not been solved despite efforts by law enforcement and families to find answers despite technological and other breakthroughs.

Since 1980, around 400 cases involving missing people have been documented. About 65% of these cases have been closed, leaving 35% unresolved. Lack of evidence, missing people who vanished on their own own, and incidents in which the victim is presumed to have been taken out of state or country are just a few of the many possible explanations for why these crimes remain unsolved.

There have been over 100 unsolved homicides in Cincinnati since 1980, and many more missing persons cases. Many suspects and a lack of evidence or eyewitnesses can make these situations exceptionally challenging for law enforcement. When compared to the clearance rate for missing person cases, the clearance rate for homicides is significantly lower, hovering around 50%.

Despite the numbers, police in Cincinnati have not let up in their efforts to solve these heinous crimes. DNA evidence has played a major part in several recent cold case arrests thanks to developments in technology and forensic science. Social media and other online tools have also facilitated the widespread distribution of news and calls for assistance that were before impossible.

The lack of resources is a problem for law enforcement when looking into cold cases. Due to resource constraints, it may be impossible to conduct in-depth inquiries into each situation. When new information becomes available years after a case has been closed for lack of leads or evidence, it is often decided to reopen the investigation.

Famous cold cases in Cincinnati

The emotional toll these cases may take on loved ones and law enforcement is another obstacle. Many relatives of victims of disappearance or murder have waited for years for answers, and each day that passes just deepens their anguish. Each unsolved case represents a failure to provide justice to victims and their families, creating enormous pressure for law enforcement to find answers.

Despite these obstacles, cold cases have been solved with success in Cincinnati. Michelle Mockbee, a 42-year-old woman, was discovered deceased at her place of employment in 2012. A suspect was finally arrested and charged with her murder in 2016. This followed years of inquiry.

The urgency of resolving cold cases is brought home by stories like Michelle's, but so is the imperative to provide law enforcement with consistent funding and resources. If law enforcement is given greater resources and time, they will be more likely to solve these crimes and bring closure to the affected families.

Almost 500 people have gone missing or been murdered in Cincinnati, Ohio since 1980, and the figures are disturbing. Law enforcement has numerous obstacles while attempting to solve these cases, but recent developments in technology and forensic science, as well as the increased availability of information thanks to the Internet, have opened up new avenues of inquiry. The pursuit of justice for victims and their families can continue if law enforcement is given the means to do it.

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 Cincinnati Police Department (CPD)'s strategy for investigating unsolved cases?

Unsolved homicides in Cincinnati are investigated by the Cold Case Unit of the police department. The unit consists of seasoned detectives who have received specialized training in cold case investigations and are committed to bringing victims' families closure and justice.

As part of their plan of attack, the team will examine every piece of evidence, every statement made by a witness, and everything else they can get their hands on. New information and leads are gathered as well, and this may involve re-interviewing witnesses or employing different forensic methods.

The Cold Case Unit of the Cincinnati Police Department relies heavily on genetic analysis. The division has its own DNA lab, and they've used it to crack up a number of cold cases.

To further investigate these instances, the team collaborates with the Ohio Attorney General's Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and forensic experts.

The Cold Case Unit of the Cincinnati Police Department also makes significant use of community engagement. The bureau actively promotes public awareness of cold cases and solicits tips from the public. In addition, they collaborate closely with victim advocate groups to aid victims' loved ones.

Despite these efforts, many murders in Cincinnati remain unsolved. More than 400 homicides in the city had not been solved as of 2020, according to WCPO, and many of these cases go back decades. The Cold Case Unit of the Cincinnati Police Department has not stopped working to solve these cold cases and deliver justice to the victims and their families.

What resources are available to help solve cold cases?

Many tools exist in Cincinnati, Ohio, to aid in the investigation of cold cases. Among these are:

The Cold Case Squad of the Cincinnati Police Department is a special team dedicated to solving cold cases of murder and disappearance. They have a squad of investigators who focus solely on solving cold cases.

The Bureau of Criminal Investigation for the Ohio Attorney General is a statewide organization that aids local police departments in their investigations. They have something called the Cold Case Unit, and it investigates cold cases like missing persons and homicides in conjunction with other law enforcement organizations.

The Ohio Missing People Unit is a branch of the Ohio Attorney General's Office that aids local authorities and families in their search for missing people. They provide information and aid to those conducting searches for missing persons.

Greater Cincinnati Crime Stoppers is a non-profit organization that collaborates with local law enforcement to offer cash prizes for information that leads to the identification, arrest, and conviction of criminals. The public can submit tips to them anonymously as well.

Non-profit organization that aids families and law enforcement in the search for missing and abducted children; officially known as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. They provide many tools, such as analysis of cases and assistance with probes.

DNA analysis and family tree databases have both emerged as powerful resources for solving cold cases in recent years. The information gleaned from these resources can lead police to potential suspects and victims.

In sum, law enforcement authorities in Cincinnati frequently collaborate with the city's many resources aimed at solving cold cases.

Major cities surrounding Cincinnati, Ohio

Dayton, Ohio
Covington, Kentucky
Hamilton, Ohio
Middletown, Ohio
Fairfield, Ohio

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