College town State College, Pennsylvania, is a historic and cultural treasure. It has, however, its fair share of missing and murdered persons cases that have gone cold, as do many other American cities. 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.
Many cases of people going missing or being murdered in State College since 1980 have not been resolved. Several of these cases have not been solved despite efforts by law enforcement and families to find answers despite technological and other breakthroughs.
About 10 cases involving missing people have been documented since 1980. Only around half of these cases have been closed; the other 60% remain unsolved. 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.
Since 1980, State College has seen its share of mysterious disappearances and unsolved homicides. 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 20%.
Despite these numbers, law enforcement authorities in State College are nonetheless committed to bringing these criminals 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.