Crime, including disappearances and homicides, is not unknown in Virginia Beach, a city on the Atlantic coast. Many missing persons and homicide investigations have been conducted by the Virginia Beach Police Department. While some of these cases have been closed, many others continue to be unsolved.
From 1980 to 2020, 142 cases of missing persons were reported in Virginia Beach, as recorded by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services. One hundred and thirty-nine were located, leaving three unsolved cases. Moreover, during this same period, 117 homicides were reported in Virginia Beach. By 2020, 73 of these cases will have been closed while 44 will still be unresolved.
The statistics show that many unsolved cold cases persist in Virginia Beach. The families and communities affected by these crimes remain vulnerable until they are closed. In each instance, we honor a person who was dearly loved and will be sorely lost.
Unsolved crimes are investigated by the Virginia Beach Police Department's Cold Case Unit. 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.
There have been numerous significant cold case breakthroughs in Virginia Beach over the past few years. The defendant in a homicide case from 1973 was apprehended by the Cold Case Unit in 2017. He had been residing in Florida at the time. The squad tracked down the murder suspect, who had been living in Georgia since 1996, and arrested him in 2019.