RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — In the months since its initial launch, the Virginia State Police’s cold case database has grown, giving new hope to those impacted by unsolved homicides and disappearances across the state.
The publicly available website is a searchable database with information, photos and contact information involved in unsolved homicides, unidentified persons and missing person cases that have gone unsolved for at least five years within the commonwealth. Both Virginia State Police and local law enforcement agencies are able to contribute information to the database.
The website was initially established this June with a limited number of Virginia State Police cases. Since then, the website has expanded to include around 60 unsolved homicides, missing persons and unidentified cases from a total of 12 Virginia agencies. State police have also trained and provided website access to 19 local police and sheriff`s offices across Virginia.
Virginia State Police Superintendent Colonel Gary T. Settle says that despite the name of the database, the term “cold case” is misleading to how authorities handle cases that remain unsolved for a long time.
“There really is no such thing as a cold case,” Settle said. “That moniker is misleading because no matter how many years have passed that a homicide, missing person investigation or unidentified person case has gone unresolved, it never truly goes cold. Virginia law enforcement agencies continue to pursue unresolved investigations until justice is rendered for the victim and that victim`s family. Unfortunately, some cases simply take longer than others to achieve that end goal of an arrest and closure.”
Settle hopes that with the database as a growing tool, more steps will be made across Virginia to finally bring closure to these unsolved cases.
“This website gives every unsolved case world-wide reach and we are hopeful that it will generate new tips and quality leads for Virginia`s law enforcement agencies to pursue,” Settle said.