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Olympia Cold Cases

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Olympia, Washington Cold Cases

Many reports of people going missing or being murdered in Olympia, Washington date back to at least 1980. Over ten cases are still outstanding in Olympia, per NamUs (National Missing and Unidentified People System). The families of the victims will never get the answers they need or the justice they deserve as long as these cases remain unsolved.

Time is a major obstacle in the investigation of cold cases. Evidence deteriorates, memories fade, and witnesses may relocate or pass away over time. Physical evidence may be lacking, mistreated, or lost in some cases, making them even more challenging to investigate.

Olympia police departments persist in their investigations of these instances and their pursuit of justice for the victims and their families despite these obstacles. Cold case investigators or units are specialized sections within some police departments. In their efforts to solve these cases, these detectives work relentlessly to reexamine old evidence, reinterview witnesses, and pursue fresh leads.

Justice is sought not only by law enforcement, but also by the loved ones of those who have gone missing or been murdered. They may hire private detectives, look into the cases themselves, or try to get the word out in order to get more information. Families may even offer rewards for information that helps solve the crime.

In recent years, technology has also played a crucial role in the resolution of cold cases. DNA testing and genealogy studies have allowed for the solution of many cold cases. Genetic evidence found at a crime scene could be retested with updated lab equipment, or new leads could be uncovered through genetic genealogy studies.

Several cold cases in Olympia and across the country have not been solved despite these developments. Families of those who have gone missing or been killed keep looking for answers in the hopes that someday their loved ones may be recognized and justice served.

Famous cold cases in Olympia

The murder of Karen Bodine, which occurred in 1985, is one example of a cold case that was solved in Olympia. The body of Bodine, 37, was discovered in a forest near Olympia. The crime was unresolved for over 30 years despite a thorough investigation at the time.

A suspect in the 2017 murder of Bodine was located with the use of genetic genealogy. The deceased suspect was a convicted sex offender who had been residing in the Olympia region at the time of the murder, which occurred in 2001. Although the suspect could not be prosecuted because of his death, the case was finally closed, bringing peace to Bodine's family and highlighting the significance of ongoing efforts to solve cold cases.

As a result, there are still ongoing and unresolved incidents of people going missing or being murdered in Olympia, Washington that date back to the 1980s. Every possible effort is being made to find new clues and information in these instances by law enforcement, families, and loved ones. While technological advancements have been important in solving certain instances, many more continue to go unsolved, depriving victims' families of the closure they need and the justice they deserve. Closure for families isn't the only benefit of solving cold cases; it also aids in victim accountability and justice delivery.

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 Olympia Police Department (OPD)'s strategy for investigating unsolved cases?

The Olympia Police Department (OPD) has a specialized cold case squad that looks into violent crimes including murders and disappearances that have not yet been solved. Detectives with extensive experience who have received specialized training in the investigation of cold cases make up the unit's team.

The OPD's cold case team employs a number of techniques unique to the investigation of cold cases. One of the key strategies is to examine all pieces of evidence, from physical objects to witness accounts to written records. The team also seeks to track down potential witnesses and develop fresh leads in the investigation.

The OPD's cold case team employs cutting-edge forensic technologies in addition to more conventional techniques of investigation in order to provide closure to cold cases. The team may conduct forensic testing, such as DNA analysis, to help identify suspects or establish a connection between a piece of physical evidence and a specific person.

The cold case unit of the OPD cooperates closely with other departments, as well as with community groups and victim advocacy groups. The unit works with these other entities to exchange data and generate fresh leads in cold cases.

The OPD's cold case unit also keeps a separate hotline that the public can call with tips or information regarding unsolved cases in order to help develop new leads. The team also makes use of digital channels like social media and online forums to raise awareness about cold cases and solicit tips from the public.

The OPD's cold case team investigates cold cases from a variety of angles. The team is able to develop fresh leads and make headway on cases that have been unsolved for years by combining traditional investigative tactics with modern forensic technologies and community involvement strategies.

What resources are available to help solve cold cases?

In order to investigate and perhaps solve cold cases, Olympia, Washington has a number of resources available to the public. Such examples are as follows:

Unsolved homicides, missing persons, and other important crimes are investigated by the Olympia Police Department's Cold Case Unit.

The Washington State Patrol has a special team dedicated to finding missing people and determining the identities of those whose bodies have yet to be identified.

Anyone who provide information that leads to the arrest and conviction of criminals, even in cold cases, may be eligible for prizes through Crime Stoppers of South Sound, a local nonprofit.

The Attorney General's Office in the state of Washington aids local police in their efforts to solve cold cases by providing them with information, resources, and expert advice.

NamUs is a national database that provides resources to assist law enforcement in resolving missing person and unidentified person situations.

DNA analysis New developments in DNA analysis have led to the resolution of numerous cold cases. These developments could be used by the Olympia Police Department to shed light on cold cases.

You can use some of the tools listed here to investigate cold cases in the Washington state capital of Olympia.

Major cities surrounding Olympia, Washington

Seattle, Washington
Tacoma, Washington
Lakewood, Washington
Lacey, Washington
Tumwater, Washington

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