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Vancouver Cold Cases

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Vancouver, Washington Cold Cases

Many homicides and disappearances in the Washington city of Vancouver remain unsolved from the 1980s onward. Around twenty people are missing or presumed dead in Vancouver at the moment, as documented by the National Missing and Unidentified People System (NamUs). 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.

The Vancouver Police Department is committed to investigating these incidents and bringing those responsible to justice for the victims and their families. 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 Vancouver 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 Vancouver

The murder of Michella Welch, which occurred in 1986, is an example of a cold case that was solved in Vancouver. Welch, only 12 years old at the time of her kidnapping, was playing in a park with her two younger sisters when they were taken from there. Her body was discovered in the park's woods hours later. The crime was unresolved for over 30 years despite a thorough investigation at the time.

The culprit was identified in 2018 after DNA evidence from the crime scene was retested using cutting-edge technology. A man who was living in Tacoma at the time of the murder has been arrested and is being held on murder charges in connection with the death of Welch. Welch's family finally has answers to their questions, and the case highlights the significance of ongoing attempts to solve cold cases.

In conclusion, there are still outstanding and unsolved cases of people going missing or being murdered in Vancouver, 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 Vancouver Police Department (VPD)'s strategy for investigating unsolved cases?

Unsolved murders, disappearances, and other major crimes are investigated by the Vancouver Police Department's (VPD) cold case unit. Detectives with extensive experience who have received specialized training in the investigation of cold cases make up the unit's team.

The Vancouver Police Department has a special team that investigates cold cases by using a wide range of techniques. 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 VPD's cold case team employs cutting-edge forensic technologies in addition to more conventional ways 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 Vancouver Police Department's Cold Case Unit collaborates extensively with its counterparts in other jurisdictions, as well as with local groups and victim advocacy organizations. The unit works with these other entities to exchange data and generate fresh leads in cold cases.

The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) has a dedicated hotline for the public to phone in with tips and information about cold cases. 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.

In general, the VPD's cold case unit uses a wide variety of techniques to uncover the truth behind cold cases. 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?

Vancouver, Washington, is home to a number of resources devoted to the investigation of cold cases.

The Vancouver Police Department maintains a special squad devoted to investigating cold cases, such as those involving missing people or murders that have yet to be solved. To solve crimes, they team up with other authorities and employ cutting-edge tools and technology.

Vancouver has a service called Crime Stoppers where anyone can anonymously report information concerning crimes. There have been many cases solved with the help of incentives offered by this organization.

The Washington State Patrol has a team dedicated to assisting other law enforcement agencies with missing person cases and unidentified cadaver identification. They collaborate with families, police, and the medical examiner's office to locate missing people and solve crimes.

The NCMEC is a non-governmental organization whose mission is to find missing children and provide assistance to those who have been exploited. In addition to a tip hotline, they provide a number of resources for families and law police to use in solving cases.

Washington state has DNA databanks that can lead to new leads in cold cases. In order to investigate crimes, they collect Genetic evidence from both criminals and crime scenes.

Major cities surrounding Vancouver, Washington

Portland, Oregon
Salem, Oregon
Olympia, Washington
Longview, Washington
Hood River, Oregon

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