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Columbus Cold Cases

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Columbus, Ohio Cold Cases

After all possible leads have been investigated and none remain, a case is considered cold. For law police, families of victims, and the general public, cases like these can be extremely frustrating. As with any city, Columbus, Ohio has its share of unsolved mysteries.

Almost 150 of the 500 homicides that have occurred in Columbus since 1980 have not been solved. There are also scores of unsolved cases of missing people, some of which may be related to criminal activity.

The lack of evidence and the passage of time present difficulties in investigating cold cases. Potential eyewitnesses may have passed away or relocated, and the integrity of any physical evidence may have deteriorated. But, law enforcement now has access to more resources than ever before that can aid in the resolution of such crimes as technology develops.

DNA analysis is one such method. With the use of a national database of DNA profiles, police can now identify suspects or victims by comparing their DNA to that of a known sample or a deceased person. In certain instances, DNA evidence has been the deciding factor in solving long-unsolved crimes.

Reexamining evidence and re-interviewing witnesses are two additional methods for solving cold cases. It's possible that some witnesses concealed information or were reluctant to come forward at first, but are now more forthcoming with details. In addition, investigators might be able to use cutting-edge tools to find fresh evidence.

Participation from the local community is another tool that can be used to help solve unsolved crimes. The Columbus Police Department periodically promotes cold cases and seeks out to the public for information and tips through its collaborations with local media. The department also includes a cold case unit that investigates murders and disappearances that have yet to be solved.

Famous cold cases in Columbus

Although resolving cold cases can be difficult, it is essential to keep in mind that each case represents a victim and their loved ones who have been affected by a tragedy. By bringing dangerous people to justice, solving cold cases can help make communities safer and provide closure to the families of those who have been victimized.

There have been a number of significant cold case developments in Columbus in recent years. A suspect in a murder that occurred in 2007 was apprehended in 2020 thanks to DNA evidence. A suspect was apprehended in 2019 for a murder that occurred in 1991, in part because investigators reexamined the case and reinterviewed key witnesses.

In sum, solving cold cases is difficult and time-consuming, but it is feasible with the correct resources. Justice for victims and their families and a safer community need collaboration between law enforcement, forensics specialists, and the public.

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

The police in Columbus, Ohio, take a proactive stance toward solving cold cases and delivering justice to the victims' loved ones. The department's Cold Case Section is in charge of looking into cold cases, such as murders and disappearances that have persisted for a long time without a resolution.

Detectives assigned to the Cold Case Unit receive specialized training in solving cold cases, including the application of forensic tools and methods. In order to gather information and find leads, the team collaborates closely with other law enforcement authorities and the local community.

The Columbus Police Department has a policy of revisiting cold cases to see if any new information or tools have become available since they were initially examined. Evidence gathered at the scene of a crime is analyzed with cutting-edge forensic methods such as DNA testing.

Anybody with information on unsolved crimes is urged to contact the Columbus Police Department. They have set up a tip line where anyone can ring in with information about cold cases. To get the word out about cold cases and get people to come forward with information, the department collaborates closely with victim advocacy organizations and other community groups.

Collaboration and relationships with other agencies and groups are also highly valued by the Columbus Police Department. In order to effectively investigate cold cases, the agency collaborates closely with the Ohio Attorney General's Office and the FBI. They also collaborate with regional educational institutions and forensic science facilities to advance the state of the art in investigation.

The Columbus Police Department takes an aggressive and thorough approach to solving cold cases through leveraging technology, involving the local community, and working with other groups. Justice and resolution for the victims and their families is a priority for the department.

What resources are available to help solve cold cases?

In Columbus, Ohio, you can find a number of resources aimed at resolving cold cases. Important tools include:

Cold Case Unit of the Columbus Police Department investigates homicides, disappearances, and sexual assaults that have not yet been solved. To help solve these crimes, they reexamine evidence, question witnesses, and employ cutting-edge technologies.

The Central Ohio Crime Stoppers is a private, non-profit organization that collaborates with local law enforcement to investigate and solve crimes. They have financial incentives for anyone who gives information that results in the identification, capture, and prosecution of a suspect in a previously unsolved case.

The Ohio Attorney General's Office maintains a Cold Case Unit dedicated to looking into cold cases of murder and disappearance. By collaborating with local law enforcement, they help with forensic analysis and witness interviews, for example.

DNA analysis New developments in DNA testing have led to important discoveries in the investigation of cold cases. The DNA testing services are provided by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification (BCI) to all of the state's law enforcement agencies.

To further explore their loved one's case, families of victims may hire private investigators. When conducting an investigation, private investigators often find clues and details that law enforcement authorities miss.

Justice for victims of cold cases in Columbus, Ohio can be achieved with the use of the aforementioned tools, as well as the cooperation and perseverance of law enforcement, victim families, and the community.

Major cities surrounding Columbus, Ohio

Cleveland, Ohio
Cincinnati, Ohio
Dayton, Ohio
Toledo, Ohio
Akron, Ohio

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