Kansas City, KS Police Chief Karl Oakman announced the launching of the department’s first cold case unit.

In general, a cold case is a criminal investigation that remains unsolved for more than a year.  Typically, the cases remain open pending the discovery of new evidence.  Kansas City, KS has roughly 285 unsolved homicides spanning five decades.

Before, the department relied on a tip line for additional information and just hoped someone would come forward with tips providing additional insight on these cases. In the meantime, members of the deceased just waited  

“The family of these victims deserve justice and closure,” said Oakman, who believes advances in DNA and forensic testing can prove beneficial in solving many of these cases.  

The cold case team will begin by reviewing all cold cases and prioritizing them based on solvability. Missing person cases where it appears foul play was involved will also be reviewed.

Since last year, activist group Justice for Wyandotte has called for KCKPD to create a cold case unit.  The group created a petition asking  the Wyandotte Unified Government to create the unit by no later than 2022.

The group said the new cold case unit is a glimmer of hope for families. 

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