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Austin Cold Cases

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Austin, Texas Cold Cases

There have been unsolved cases of homicide and disappearance in the Austin, Texas area since at least 1980. The Austin Police Department reports that there are now over 400 cold cases and unsolved crimes in the city. Those who have vanished without a trace and those whose murders have gone unsolved also fall into this category.

There is a particular section of the Austin Police Department that looks into cold cases. Detectives with years of expertise and specialized training in cold case investigations man the Cold Case Unit. The major objective of the team is to investigate all of the collected evidence and come up with fresh leads.

The lack of new evidence is a major obstacle to solving cold cases. In many of these situations, no new information has surfaced in years, if not decades. But, cutting-edge forensic equipment is put to use by the Cold Case Squad in order to reexamine previously collected material and identify any new leads in these cases. The unit has been able to make headway on some of these cases thanks to developments in DNA analysis and other forensic procedures.

In addition to cooperating with the Texas Rangers and the FBI, the department also shares information and resources with other law enforcement organizations. By working together, we can be confident that every available tool is being used to deliver justice for the victims.

In order to crack cold cases, the Austin Police Department understands the value of community outreach. The agency routinely holds events and collaborates with the media to raise awareness about cold cases and solicit leads from locals. There are prizes available from the department if a tip leads to an arrest and conviction in one of these cases.

Famous cold cases in Austin

There is a rising backlog of cases that have not yet been assigned to the Cold Case Squad, which adds to the difficulties of solving cold cases. The Austin American-Statesman reports that the Austin Police Department's Cold Case Squad has not yet reviewed over seventy cold cases of homicide. In order to ensure that all cases are being adequately investigated, this backlog highlights the need for extra resources to be assigned to the unit.

There is often no resolution for the victims' families in these cases. The Austin Police Department understands that solving these crimes is critical, not only for the sake of justice, but also so that the victims' loved ones can finally rest in peace. Some of these cases have seen advancement, but the department still has a long way to go.

The Austin Police Department has a special unit called the Cold Case Squad that looks into missing and homicide cases that have gone cold. In order to identify suspects and solve cold cases, the team employs cutting-edge forensic technology, collaborates closely with other law enforcement organizations, and forges ties within the community. Although there are many obstacles to resolving cold cases, the agency is dedicated to doing so in order to bring justice to the victims and peace of mind to their loved ones.

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 Austin Police Department (APD)'s strategy for investigating unsolved cases?

The Servant Girl Annihilator case - In the late 1800s, a serial killer known as the Servant Girl Annihilator terrorized the city of Austin, murdering several young women in their homes. The killer was never caught.

The Austin Yogurt Shop Murders case - In 1991, four teenage girls were murdered in a yogurt shop in Austin. Despite a lengthy investigation and multiple trials, the killer has never been identified.

The Debra Baker case - In 1984, Debra Baker, a young mother, was found murdered in her Austin home. Her killer has never been identified.

The Mauriceo Brown case - In 2006, Mauriceo Brown, a college student, was shot and killed outside a convenience store in Austin. His killer has never been identified.

The Roxanne Paltauf case - In 2006, 18-year-old Roxanne Paltauf disappeared from an Austin motel. Her remains were found in 2012, but her killer has never been identified.

What resources are available to help solve cold cases?

When it comes to solving cold cases, Austin, Texas has a number of resources at your disposal. Take a look at these few instances:

The Austin Police Department has a special squad devoted to investigating cold cases. Detectives with years of expertise who focus on cold cases make up the unit's workforce. DNA testing, forensic analysis, and interviews with witnesses are just a few of the methods they utilize to try to solve cold cases.

The Texas Rangers are a state-wide police team that focuses on solving serious crimes and cold cases. They have close ties to the police departments in their communities and can be called upon to help with cold case investigations.

The goal of Crime Stoppers, a nonprofit that partners with law enforcement to solve crimes including cold cases, is to encourage the public to come forward with information that can lead to an arrest. Tips can be sent anonymously through a hotline or website, and financial prizes are offered if the information provided leads to an arrest being made.

Private investigators: Austin is home to several reputable private investigation organizations with a focus on solving cold cases. They employ methods such as surveillance, interviewing potential witnesses, and forensic analysis in an effort to find fresh information in cold cases.

There are a number of nonprofits in Austin dedicated to solving cold cases, all of which rely on the help of volunteers. For instance, Texas EquuSearch is a group that not only conducts searches for lost people but also collaborates with law enforcement to solve cold cases.

The aforementioned are only some of the many tools at Austin, Texas's disposal to help solve cold cases.

Major cities surrounding Austin, Texas

San Antonio, Texas
Round Rock, Texas
Cedar Park, Texas
Georgetown, Texas
San Marcos, Texas

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