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Allentown, Pennsylvania Cold Cases
Allentown, Pennsylvania, like many other American communities, 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.
More than 500 cases of disappearances or murders in Allentown since 1980 have not been solved. 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 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 Allentown since 1980, and many more missing people 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%.
In spite of these numbers, law enforcement in Allentown is committed to bringing these instances 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 Allentown
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, several cold cases in Allentown have been solved. The case of missing 41-year-old lady Holly Grim is illustrative. By 2021, a suspect had been identified and charged with her murder after years of inquiry and DNA analysis.
Cases like Holly's bring to light the significance of solving cold cases and the necessity of providing law enforcement with ongoing support 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.
There have been over 500 unresolved cases of homicide or disappearance in Allentown, Pennsylvania since 1980, which is a very worrying statistic. 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.
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 Allentown Police Department (APD)'s strategy for investigating unsolved cases?
The Allentown, Pennsylvania, Police Department uses multiple methods, such as:
Many cold cases haven't been solved because crucial pieces of evidence or witness testimony weren't collected or recorded at the time of the crime. In order to find any lost chances, the Allentown Police Department looks over all of the evidence and statements from witnesses.
With modern technology: DNA and ballistics testing are just two examples of the new types of testing and analysis made possible by technological advancements. The forensics division of the Allentown Police Department helps investigate crimes by examining physical evidence and interviewing witnesses.
Sharing information and resources, the Allentown Police Department collaborates extensively with other law enforcement agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Pennsylvania State Police. By working together, we can expand our reach and gain access to more specialized tools.
The Allentown Police Department reaches out to the public through many channels in order to receive tips and information. The department's goal in disclosing information regarding old cases is to find new leads and uncover previously unknown details.
The Allentown Police Department has a specialized unit called the Cold Case Squad, which is made up of detectives who have received additional education and experience in the field of cold case investigation. These cops are in charge of revisiting and reexamining cold cases.
The Allentown Police Department frequently releases press releases and social media posts about cold cases. The department hopes that by maintaining public awareness of the cases, they will be able to attract new leads and information that would help bring closure to the investigations.
The Allentown Police Department's approach to solving cold cases is multifaceted and includes the use of both classic police work and cutting-edge forensics tools, as well as cross-agency cooperation and public engagement. The agency is investing time and energy into these cases in the name of fairness for the victims and their loved ones.
What resources are available to help solve cold cases?
In Allentown, Pennsylvania, there are a number of resources available to investigate and maybe solve cold cases. Some of these tools are:
The Pennsylvania State Police's Criminal Investigation Assessment Unit (CIAU) works with other law enforcement organizations to solve cold cases. The CIAU has access to specialist services, including forensic analysis, DNA testing, and more.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) operates a program called Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (ViCAP) that aims to help local police departments solve violent crimes, especially cold cases. ViCAP is able to connect cases and find leads by searching a nationwide database.
Supporting law enforcement in their efforts to locate missing children is the mission of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC). They have a national database of missing children cases and a staff of forensic artists who can make age-progressed photographs of missing children.
DNA testing New leads have been found in cold cases thanks to the use of DNA testing. The DNA lab of the Pennsylvania State Police can examine and analyze DNA samples.
Unsolved crime data can be found in a variety of national and state-level cold case databases. Law enforcement authorities have access to these databases and can use them to look for connections between cases.
Relatives of the missing and the murdered often take on the role of activists for their loved ones, and the information and leads they provide to law police are invaluable. Using anonymous tip lines or social media, people of the community can also give information and tips to law enforcement.
In sum, Allentown has a wide variety of resources at its disposal, any one of which may give the assistance and information law enforcement needs to deliver justice to victims and their families. Law enforcement can improve the odds of solving cold cases and bringing closure to grieving families by making use of these tools and services.
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