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Cleveland Cold Cases

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Cleveland, Ohio Cold Cases

Several people have gone missing or been murdered in Cleveland, Ohio, like in other cities around 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 over a thousand unexplained cases of homicide or disappearance in Cleveland 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.

Almost 900 cases involving missing people have been documented since 1980. About 70% of these cases have been closed, leaving 30% 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 Cleveland since 1980, plus 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 killings is lower, hovering around 60%.

Cleveland's police department is still working around the clock to crack these cases despite the grim numbers. 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 Cleveland

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 the difficulties, some cold cases in Cleveland have been solved. Amy Mihaljevic, a young girl aged 10, was kidnapped from a shopping mall in 1989. Her murderer was finally apprehended in 2016 after years of inquiry thanks to DNA evidence.

Cases like Amy's are a sobering reminder of the significance of investigating unsolved crimes, but they also show why law enforcement organizations must be provided 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.

In conclusion, it is disturbing that there have been over a thousand unsolved cases of homicide or disappearance in Cleveland, Ohio since 1980. 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 Cleveland Police Department (CPD)'s strategy for investigating unsolved cases?

Unsolved homicides from the 1950s are being looked at by the Cleveland Police Department's Cold Case Unit. The website for the unit states that its goal is to "provide closure to families and justice to the victims of Cleveland's unsolved homicides."

Detectives with extensive experience who have received specialized training in cold cases make up the team. In order to find answers to these crimes, they collaborate with the FBI, the Ohio Attorney General's Office, forensic experts, and other professionals.

The Cleveland Police Department's Cold Case Unit employs many measures, including re-examining physical evidence with updated forensic methods. One example is the increased accuracy of DNA testing that has led to the resolution of countless cold cases across the country in recent years.

The team also solicits input from the public in order to learn more about these cases. They want anyone, no matter how seemingly insignificant, who knows anything about a cold case to come forward. The police have even set up a hotline for people to call with information on cold cases.

The Cleveland Police Department's Cold Case Unit employs these and other tactics to inform the public about cold cases. To get the word out and get people talking, they hold events and give presentations to local groups. In addition, they do what they can to comfort and update victims' loved ones on the investigation's development.

Despite these efforts, many murders in Cleveland remain unsolved. WKYC reported that there were over 5,500 cold cases of homicide in Ohio as of 2018. Several of these crimes occurred decades ago. The Cold Case Unit of the Cleveland Police Department has not stopped working to solve these cases and deliver justice to the victims' loved ones.

What resources are available to help solve cold cases?

Cold case investigators in Cleveland, Ohio, have access to a number of resources. Some of them are listed below:

The Cold Case Unit of the Cleveland Police Department investigates cold cases, such as those involving murder, sexual assault, and the disappearance of people. To investigate and solve crimes, they collaborate with the public and government institutions at all levels.

Crime Stoppers of Cuyahoga County is a nonprofit organization that encourages the public to anonymously disclose information regarding criminal activity, even in the form of leads on cold cases. An organization will pay a reward for information leading to an indictment or arrest.

The Office of the Attorney General of Ohio maintains a Cold Case Unit that collaborates with local law enforcement to solve cold cases. To help with solving cold cases, they provide resources like DNA analysis and crime scene reconstruction.

There is a non-profit group called the Cold Case Foundation whose mission is to help local police departments with their investigations of cold cases. They provide law enforcement with a group of seasoned investigators that collaborate with them to find clues and solve crimes.

Database of Unsolved Homicides in Ohio The Ohio Attorney General's Office keeps track of homicides that have yet to be solved. Any member of the public with access to the internet can use the database to look up details about cold cases and provide law enforcement with information about possible suspects.

They are a few of the tools at the Cleveland, Ohio, police department's disposal for investigating cold cases.

Major cities surrounding Cleveland, Ohio

Akron, Ohio
Canton, Ohio
Youngstown, Ohio
Lorain, Ohio
Elyria, Ohio

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