Sometimes ‘talk on the street’ can lead
to a break in an unsolved cold case
Felony crime cases are worked by detectives until leads are exhausted and information is no longer forthcoming. After a review, such cases may be officially designated as “cold.”
Although most cold cases are at least a year old, the actual timing is determined by the review process. Yet the cases don’t necessarily lie dormant. The Memphis Police Department, like many big-city police forces, has a Cold Case Unit with investigators assigned to the older and unsolved crimes.
Cases are reviewed for their potential for being solved, then new evidence is sought. This can happen through a review of the case file, re-interview of witnesses, discovery of new witnesses, and even through technology.
Detectives work numerous cold cases at the same time, often as a team.
Victims’ families — or other interested parties — sometimes may come forward months or years later with new information picked up “on the street” or through other means. When some new piece of information surfaces, it is important to let investigators know.
The Cold Case Hotline can be reached at 901-636-COLD (2653) or by email at ColdCase@memphistn.gov. Detectives ask that callers provide name, phone number and a brief message on which case they are calling about.
Anyone with information also can help by contacting CrimeStoppers anonymously at (901) 528-CASH.