Near the nation's capital, in Virginia, is the historic city of Alexandria. The city is well-known for its historic buildings and quaint streets, but it has also seen its share of crime, including cases of people going missing or being killed. Over the years, the Alexandria Police Department has looked into various incidents of missing persons and homicide. While some of these cases have been closed, many others continue to be unsolved.
From 1980 to 2020, 145 cases of missing persons were reported in Alexandria, as recorded by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services. 137 were located, leaving 8 instances unsolved. In addition, 161 people were killed in homicides in Alexandria during this time. As of the year 2020, 93 of these cases had been resolved, while 68 were still pending.
These figures suggest that there are still a significant number of unsolved cold cases in Alexandria. In each instance, we honor a person who was dearly loved and will be sorely lost. The effects on households and the neighborhood are far-reaching.
The Cold Case Unit of the Alexandria Police Department is responsible for looking into cold cases. Detectives with years of expertise staff the team, and they work relentlessly to offer closure to victims' loved ones. Unsolved cases involving homicide, missing persons, or unexplained remains that have lasted at least a year are the primary focus of the unit's efforts.
The Cold Case Unit re-interviews witnesses, analyzes fingerprints and ballistics evidence, and analyzes DNA to solve these cases. The detectives in the team are frequently called upon to re-examine evidence and re-interview witnesses after the original inquiry has shown inconclusive results. They also employ public outreach strategies like social media to find new leads and tips from the general public.
Some long-cold cases have been solved in Alexandria in recent years. A murder case from 1996 was finally solved in 2018 after the suspect, who had been living in Maryland, was apprehended by the Cold Case Unit. A murder case from 1981 was finally solved in 2019 after the West Virginia resident suspect was apprehended.