SPECIAL OPERATIONS DIVISION
COLD CASE UNIT
MPD’s Cold Case Unit, which was established in 1996, reviews, analyzes and investigates unsolved homicides with the hopes of solving cases, bringing justice to the perpetrators, and bringing closure to the victims’ loved ones.
During the review process, cases are prioritized based on solvability, which helps determine which cases to focus on first.
The unit currently operates with three part-time investigators and a part-time analyst who review and analyze cases and the associated evidence for each. These investigators then follow up on any unresolved investigative leads, re-interview witnesses, and conduct new interviews. Additionally, investigators work diligently to determine if newer technologies or forensic testing of evidence may produce any new potential leads, thus increasing the likelihood of solvability. As with any case, when new information is received investigators immediately work those leads as far as possible.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS –
When does an unsolved case become a “cold case?”
Cases are typically investigated by the original detective until all known leads have been exhausted. After one year with no new investigative leads, the case is reviewed by investigators and supervisors and evaluated for transfer to the Cold Case Unit.
How are unsolved cases reviewed and assigned?
A systematic review of all cold cases is underway in the Cold Case Unit. This process is slow and tedious. As cases are prioritized, those with the highest likelihood of solvability are divided among investigators. Investigators work in conjunction with one another to pursue new leads as quickly as possible, as well as take advantage of any newly-developed forensic technology to test existing or new evidence on an ongoing basis. This ensures that there are no missed opportunities to solve a cold case.
What else can be done to help solve our loved one’s case?
Keep your eyes and ears open! Families are often contacted by people who are hesitant to contact the police but have information or want to pass on what “the streets are saying.” Please pass along any information to us, even if you think we already have it.
How can I contact the Cold Case Unit?
The Cold Case Hotline can be reached at 901-636-2653 (COLD) or you can email us at ColdCase@memphistn.gov. Please provide your name, phone number, and a brief message about the case for which you are inquiring; include as much information as possible as to the date of the homicide, location, victim name, or any other information you may have. Please let us know if you are a family member seeking information about a case, or if you have information that may help us in the investigation of a case. A member of the Cold Case Unit will contact you as soon as possible.
If you have information about a case, you can also contact CrimeStoppers completely anonymously at 901-528-2274 (CASH).
Other pages of Interest
- Register as Victim’s Representative
- About Cold Case
- Frequently Asked Questions