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Toledo Cold Cases

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Toledo, Ohio Cold Cases

Like many other American cities, Toledo, Ohio, has its share of unsolved murder and disappearance cases that have gone cold. 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 nearly 400 unexplained cases of disappearances or homicides in Toledo 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 300 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.

Toledo has had over 100 unsolved homicides and numerous missing person incidents since 1980. 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 these numbers, law enforcement organizations in Toledo are nonetheless committed to bringing these crimes to justice. 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 Toledo

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.

Notwithstanding these obstacles, cold cases have been solved with success in Toledo. The murder of 23-year-old Amanda Mangas in her apartment in 2015 is a prime example. A suspect in her murder was finally discovered and charged with in 2019.

Amanda's case is just one example that shows why law enforcement needs consistent funding and resources even as it serves as a reminder of the importance of solving cold cases. 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.

Overall, the nearly 400 unresolved cases of homicide and disappearance in Toledo, Ohio since 1980 is deeply 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 Toledo Police Department (TPD)'s strategy for investigating unsolved cases?

Unsolved murders and disappearances are the focus of the Toledo Police Department's Cold Case Unit. The squad is manned by seasoned detectives who focus on solving cold cases and bringing closure to victims and their families.

The department's plan for reviewing cold cases involves looking at every piece of evidence, every statement made by a witness, and everything else they can get their hands on. To do this, they may re-interview witnesses, re-examine forensic evidence using cutting-edge methods, or do community outreach to find fresh leads.

The Cold Case Unit of the Toledo Police Department relies heavily on genetic analysis to solve cold cases. The unit's devoted forensic laboratory has been instrumental in the resolution of multiple cold cases.

The group cooperates closely with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and local law enforcement to investigate and solve cold cases.

Also, the Toledo Police Department's Cold Case Unit collaborates closely with victim advocate groups to aid in the recovery of victims' loved ones and increase public awareness. They also take part in social media campaigns and public events to gather information.

Despite these attempts, many murders and disappearances in Toledo remain unexplained. WTOL reported in 2021 that there were over a hundred homicides in the city that had not been investigated, some of which occurred as far back as the 1970s. The Cold Case Unit of the Toledo Police Department is still dedicated to solving these cases and delivering closure to the victims' loved ones.

What resources are available to help solve cold cases?

In the Ohio city of Toledo, investigators can use a number of resources to shed light on long-lost crimes.

It is the policy of the Toledo Police Department to examine all homicides and disappearances that remain unsolved by establishing a Cold Case Unit. The goal of their efforts is to positively identify the perpetrators so that families can finally rest easy.

Via Crime Stoppers, a nonprofit group, members of the public can report crimes anonymously. The organization will provide a prize for information that leads to an arrest or conviction.

Cold Case Unit, Ohio Attorney General's Office The Cold Case Unit of the Ohio Attorney General's Office aids local law enforcement in solving cold cases.

DNA Testing; Recent advancements in DNA testing have led to the resolution of a number of previously unsolved cases. DNA testing services are provided to Ohio law enforcement by the state's Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification (BCI).

University of Toledo Forensic Anthropology Center - The University of Toledo Forensic Anthropology Center aids law enforcement with identifying human remains and conducting forensic analyses of skeletal remains.

Some relatives of victims in unsolved cases may decide to hire private investigators to help them find answers.

Cold cases in the Ohio city of Toledo can benefit from the combined efforts of these resources.

Major cities surrounding Toledo, Ohio

Detroit, Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Windsor, Ontario
Cleveland, Ohio
Fort Wayne, Indiana

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