You might be able to help solve a cold case! With more than 200,000 unsolved cases in the US—and a number that grows by nearly 6,000 every year; your insights might help contribute to the next big break in a case.

The Uncovered team and community recently added these five cases to the growing interactive database of the unsolved cases of the missing and murdered.

Elizabeth “Liz” Barraza

Murdered on January 26, 2019, in Houston, Texas.

An avid Star Wars fan and hospital volunteer is murdered in her driveway while setting up a garage sale on January 25, 2019. As Elizabeth, or Liz, was setting up signage in the front yard for the sale, a neighbor’s surveillance camera records a 2013 or newer-model four-door black Nissan Frontier truck pulling up to the home. An individual with either long hair or a wig, wearing what is believed to be a bathrobe, is seen exiting the truck before having a brief discussion with Liz, before shooting her four times. Elizabeth was rushed to the hospital, but couldn’t be saved. She passed away the following day. If you know who was responsible for Elizabeth’s murder, please contact Crime Stoppers of Houston. View the digital case file 

 

Elena Sanchez Hawkins

Murdered on January 8, 1992, in Elizabethtown, Kentucky.

The morning of January 8, 1992, played out as usual in the Hawkins home; Elena’s husband, Michael, left for work at the normal time, and Elena began getting her oldest son ready for school. Sometime between 7:00 am and 7:30 am, an unknown assailant enters the home, bounds, sexually assaults, and brutally murders Elena, with her three-year-old son as a witness. Michael learns that something horrible had happened when he calls the home to make sure their oldest son had made it on the school bus and instead is told “mommy’s bleeding” by his young son. A later tip leads police to believe that the assailant was driving an older-model black Datsun truck with a short bed, no chrome, and a standard cab with “tie-down” hooks and a “metal” topper on the bed. View the digital case file

 

Brian Shaffer

Missing since April 1, 2006, from Columbus, Ohio.

This young man, who was nearly finished with his first year of med school at The Ohio State University, was excited about the start of spring break and was looking forward to a nice vacation with his girlfriend. Brian’s plans for the evening of March 31, 2006, began with dinner with his father, before he met up with friends to go bar hopping. The night took a strange turn when he separated from his friends and seemingly vanished into thin air from a busy bar right before closing time. Brian was not seen on surveillance footage leaving the bar and has not been seen or heard from since the early morning hours of April 1, 2006. If you have any information, please contact Detective Andre Edwards with the Columbus Police Department or Central Ohio Crime Stoppers. View the digital case file

 

Denise Sheehy

Missing since July 7, 1979, from Woodside, New York.

Denise spent the afternoon of July 7, 1979, on the phone with her boyfriend, who was out of town visiting a sick relative before getting ready to celebrate her older sister’s birthday that evening. While preparing for the birthday dinner, 16-year-old Denise and her mother got into an argument after her mother made statements about how Denise smelled like alcohol and made threats of telling her father when he returned from work. In typical teenager fashion, Denise stormed out of the house and was last seen by a neighbor who reported to have seen Denise climbing over the apartment complex’s fence. If you have any information, please contact the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Service, Crime Stoppers, or the New York State Missing Persons Clearinghouse. View the digital case file

 

Christopher Dansby

Missing since May 18, 1989, from New York, New York.

Two-year-old Christopher “Choo Choo” Dansby was last seen at a neighborhood park near his home in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City with his mother and brother. His Mother left Christopher and his brother under the supervision of her mother so she could run to the store while the children played at the park. By the time the boys’ mother returned, Christopher was gone. No one at the park remembers seeing Christopher leave the playground area. There is speculation that Christopher’s disappearance may be connected to the disappearances of Shane Walker and Andre Bryant, who had also vanished from the same park in 1989. If you have any information, please contact the New York City Police Department’s Missing Person Squad or Crime Stoppers. View the digital case file

 


 

Together We Can Build a Community. Our team is taking publicly available data and creating timelines, pulling maps, organizing sources, and visualizing cold cases for more eyes and collective impact.

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