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Richmond Cold Cases

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Richmond, Virginia Cold Cases

The city of Richmond, Virginia, has a long history and a multicultural population. Yet, it has had its share of crime, including cases of missing or murdered people, just like any other city. Many missing persons and homicide investigations have been conducted by the Richmond Police Department. While some of these cases have been closed, many others continue to be unsolved.

From 1980 through 2020, 470 reports of missing persons were made in the Richmond area, as documented by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services. 452 persons were found, leaving 18 open cases. During that same time period, 631 homicides were reported in Richmond. As of the year 2020, 403 had been solved while 228 were still under investigation.

These figures show that many cold cases in Richmond have yet to be solved. 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.

Unresolved crimes are investigated by the Cold Case Unit of the Richmond Police Department. 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 Richmond in recent years. A murder case from 1987 was finally solved in 2018 after the defendant, who had been living in Florida, was apprehended by the Cold Case Unit. The culprit, who had been living in North Carolina since 1975, was apprehended in 2019 and the investigation was closed.

Famous cold cases in Richmond

Although the Cold Case Unit has not yet solved all of Richmond's unsolved cases, their recent successes give the community reason to be optimistic. The potential for fresh evidence to be discovered and a breakthrough in a cold case is always present thanks to technological and investigative developments.

Cold cases have a devastating effect on communities and families. The burden of not knowing what happened and why is heavy on the loved ones left behind. The Cold Case Unit of the Richmond Police Department is dedicated to solving cold cases and delivering justice to victims and their loved ones. Their commitment to the community is unwavering, and their relentless work is evidence of that.

In conclusion, the numbers of unresolved cases of homicide and disappearance in Richmond since 1980 show that there is a significant problem. The Cold Case Unit of the Richmond Police Department gives victims' loved ones reason to believe that justice will be done. Their perseverance serves as a sobering reminder that these cases should be pursued no matter how much time has gone.

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 Richmond Police Department (RPD)'s strategy for investigating unsolved cases?

Unsolved homicides, disappearances, and cases involving unidentified remains in the city of Richmond are the focus of the Cold Case Unit of the police force there. Detectives with years of expertise work tirelessly to solve these crimes and bring closure to the victims' loved ones.

The Cold Case Unit of the Richmond Police Department frequently reexamines crime-scene physical evidence by applying cutting-edge technology and methods. Many unsolved instances have been brought to light thanks to the application of cutting-edge DNA testing. To maximize the use of its resources, the unit collaborates closely with other law enforcement organizations and forensics specialists.

The utilization of community involvement and outreach to gather fresh leads and recommendations from the general populace is also crucial. The Cold Case Unit uses several methods to reach out to the public and encourage them to come forward with any information they may have, including social media, public speaking, and other events. To make sure that relatives of victims are supported during the investigation, they also collaborate closely with victim advocacy groups and community organizations.

In addition to re-interviewing witnesses and gaining fresh information from people who may not have come forward during the initial investigation, the Richmond Police Department's Cold Case Unit lays a major focus on re-examining evidence. The unit's detectives frequently have to re-investigate a case in light of new information or new witness accounts.

Last but not least, the Cold Case Section of the Richmond Police Department is dedicated to conducting its inquiries from the perspective of the victim. In other words, they engage closely with victims' loved ones to address their worries and keep them updated on the investigation's progress. The unit is sensitive to the emotional toll that unsolved cases may take on families and works hard to give them with the supports they require.

In conclusion, the Cold Case Unit of the Richmond Police Department uses a number of methods, such as cutting-edge technology, community outreach, and a focus on the victim, to investigate cold cases. Their perseverance is a demonstration of their dedication to ensuring victims and their loved ones receive justice and peace of mind.

What resources are available to help solve cold cases?

There are a number of resources in Richmond, Virginia, that can be used to investigate and potentially solve cold cases. To name a few examples of such materials:

Cold Case Squad of the Richmond Police Department: The Richmond Police Department maintains a special unit devoted to investigating cold cases, such as murders that have gone unsolved or people who have gone missing. Along with local authorities, the Virginia State Police, and the FBI, they investigate cold cases.

Cold Case Unit of the Virginia State Police: The Virginia State Police maintains a cold case unit that looks into cold cases including missing persons and homicides across the state, including in Richmond.

DNA Testing: Recent developments in DNA testing technology have contributed to the resolution of a number of long-cold cases. DNA testing is a service offered by the Virginia Department of Forensic Science in Richmond.

Crime Stoppers is a nonprofit that allows people to anonymously report information concerning illegal behavior. They have been instrumental in solving a number of cold cases in Richmond by offering incentives for information leading to an arrest.

Helping law enforcement and families of missing children, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) is a resource hub for anyone involved in the search for missing children. They've been instrumental in the resolution of countless cases in Richmond and beyond.

Major cities surrounding Richmond, Virginia

Virginia Beach, Virginia
Norfolk, Virginia
Newport News, Virginia
Roanoke, Virginia
Charlottesville, Virginia

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