Category Archives: Cold Cases

Scots forensics expert says defence lawyers should be able to see secret police DNA files

Scotland is the only country in the civilised world where lawyers are denied access to this key evidence.

A crushed water bottle just helped solve a $3 million Tampa jewelry heist

A crushed water bottle in a Tampa jewelry store and a burglary tool left in a Los Angeles home helped connect a $3 million bay area burglary to a similar crime in a Los Angeles property owned by actors Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, according to law enforcement officials.

How a man convicted of his high school girlfriend’s killing was freed by decades-old DNA evidence

Before Leah Freeman’s body was found outside of her hometown of Coquille, Oregon, in 2000, her gym shoes, one of them bloody, were virtually the only physical clues police had to figure out what had happened to the missing 15-year-old.
Nearly 20 years later, one of those same shoes has played a key role in freeing from prison the only person who has ever been convicted of killing her: Freeman’s high school boyfriend Nick McGuffin.

Forensic genealogy group helps Cumberland County investigators crack 21-year-old cold case

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) — A popular genealogy website helped crack a cold case murder of a baby from 21 years ago.

DNA match leads to arrest in 2004 sexual assault

“After 16 years, you either think your suspect is deceased or they’re already serving a prison term where it wasn’t required to collect their DNA,” said Mountain View Police Capt. Jessica Nowaski in an interview Friday. “I’m just really excited that we were able to bring closure to our victim.”

New bill would allow more DNA testing in old cases

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CNS) — Advances in DNA testing now make it possible to identify perpetrators that would have gone undetected a decade or two ago, but people convicted of a crime have been blocked from having crime scene DNA except in the most unusual circumstances.
However, new legislation could lead to more being exonerations and convictions.

New London’s mystery bones to be tested again

NEW LONDON — The New London Police Department and Porchlight Project will work together in an attempt to discover the name of the young woman whose bones were found in an old garage in 2016.

Georgia Uses DNA Sample and Genealogy to Solve 1999 Rapes

MARIETTA, Ga. — Advanced genetic genealogy testing helped authorities solve three Georgia rape cases from 1999, a prosecutor said Tuesday.
The three rapes happened between June and October 1999 within a three-mile radius of each other, Cobb County District Attorney Joyette Holmes said in a press release. In each case, a woman awoke in the wee hours of the morning in her own bed to find an unknown man standing over her.

Las Vegas man arrested after DNA links him to 2015 rape

A Las Vegas man was arrested Thursday after his fingerprints linked him to a sexual assault from 2015.
Around 3:40 a.m. June 27, 2015, a 20-year-old woman called police and reported that a man had broken into her apartment and raped her, according to a recently released arrest report. Years later, the man was identified as Safari Summit, now 26.

Betty Pat Gatliff, forensic sculptor who put a face to John Does, dies at 89

The bones usually arrived by mail, a stream of anonymous packages bearing unknown remains. Sent from police departments, coroners and medical examiners across the country, they landed on the Oklahoma doorstep of Betty Pat Gatliff, a forensic sculptor who pioneered a new method for reconstructing faces, turning an avocation into her life’s work.

New DNA evidence links John Doe case to small American Indian tribe

The Kenosha County medical examiner is hopeful that new DNA evidence will help solve a 26-year-old mystery.
Medical Examiner Patrice Hall said new DNA testing shows an unidentified John Doe found in Pleasant Prairie in 1993 may have ties to a small American Indian tribe in South Carolina and to people in Sonora, Mexico.

Meriden police identify mother of newborn left to freeze to death 32 years ago

On Jan. 2 as a small group of Meriden police officers arrived at the Walnut Grove Cemetery to mark the 32nd anniversary of the discovery of a dead baby boy left bundled in a pink blanket, two other detectives were about to confront his mother.

Illinois officials ID killer of 16-year-old girl in 1976.

WHEATON, Ill. — An unsolved string of killings of young suburban Chicago women in the 1970s frustrated police for decades. Now authorities in DuPage County, Ill., believe that by cracking one of those cold cases, they may have uncovered the trail of a serial killer.

Your DNA Could Catch A Criminal

Genetic databases are solving murders and rapes. Privacy scolds should pipe down.

Man ordered to stand trial in 1994 cold case Madison homicide

A man charged with first-degree reckless homicide for the 1994 death of a woman in Madison was ordered to stand trial after a preliminary hearing Thursday, and after a judge denied a motion to dismiss the charge.