Virginia launches Cold Case website: Bringing attention to unsolved crime mysteries
As families, friends and law enforcement gather Sunday for the National Day of Remembrance for Homicide Victims, many are hopeful that Virginia’s new Cold Case website will help renew the public’s attention to those cases that remain unsolved.
The website is a searchable database that features information, photographs, and contact information for unsolved homicides, unidentified persons and missing person cases that have remained unsolved for at least five years.
The Virginia State Police is required by the Code of Virginia 52-34.16 to host the website for Virginia local and state law enforcement agency participation.
Del. Danica Roem sponsored the legislation to create the searchable, online database that became law in 2020.
The website initially piloted in June 2022 with a limited number of Virginia State Police “cold cases” featured. Since then, the website has expanded to include 44 unsolved homicides, nine missing persons and seven unidentified persons with 12 reporting agencies.
To date, state police has trained and provided access to upload cases to the website to 19 local police and sheriff’s offices across the Commonwealth.
“There really is no such thing as a ‘cold’ case,” said Col. Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police superintendent. “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.”
“Working with state and local police, we have developed a cold case database that is now live here in Virginia to bring justice for those who have been killed, gone missing, or are unidentified,” Roem said. “I would implore the public to look at the cold case database at least once to see if you recognize any case on this list.”
“This website gives every unsolved case worldwide reach, and we are hopeful that it will generate new tips and quality leads for Virginia’s law enforcement agencies to pursue,” said Settle.