Crime, including disappearances and homicides, is not unknown in Provo, Utah. Over the years, the Provo Police Department has looked into various incidents of murder and disappearance. Nonetheless, many of these instances are still unsolved.
The Utah Department of Criminal Identification reports that there were 140 cases of missing persons in the city of Provo between 1980 and 2020. 119 were located, leaving 21 instances unsolved. During this same time period, 30 homicides were reported in Provo. As of the year 2020, 21 of these cases had been closed and 9 were still active.
The impact on families and the community is no less severe despite the lower numbers as compared to larger cities. In each instance, we honor a person who was dearly loved and will be sorely lost. The fact that these cases have not been solved despite the passage of time should be kept in mind.
Unsolved crimes are the focus of the Provo Police Department's Cold Case Unit. The unit is manned by seasoned detectives who dedicate themselves fully to bringing closure to victims' loved ones. Cases involving murder, disappearance, or identification of remains that have not been resolved after at least a year are prioritized by this team.
DNA analysis, fingerprint and ballistics testing, and re-interviews with witnesses are only some of the methods used by the Cold Case Unit to uncover the truth in these situations. The detectives in the team are frequently tasked with reopening cases in order to reexamine evidence and re-examine witness testimony that were initially disregarded. They also employ public outreach strategies like social media to find new leads and tips from the general public.
There have been numerous significant cold case developments in Provo in recent years. A murder case from 1977 was finally solved in 2018 when the defendant, who had been living under an assumed name in Nevada, was apprehended by the Cold Case Unit. The squad tracked down the killer, who had been living in California since 1995, and arrested him in 2019.