Its a terrible feeling for a grieving family, to not know who is responsible for the death of someone they love.
If years pass without a suspect, that feeling only gets worse.
Savannah Chatham Metro Police are hoping to change that by putting some heat on potential suspects and witnesses.
Only 7% of all police department have Cold Case Squads.
A team dedicated to looking back, getting answers, and getting arrests and convictions.
“What we are doing is we are going back and getting a fresh set of eyes on them,” said Lt David Barefield of the SCMPD Cold Case Squad.
A fresh set of eyes with years of experience.
The SCMPD Cold Case Squad, five retired officers and one current detective spending 20 hours a week looking for evidence and answers. They already are taking a better look at 12 cases, dating back to 1985.
“We are having to reinvestigate basically every case is what we do,” said Lt David Barefield. “We want to reinterview everyone we interviewed the first time to make sure the stories stay consistent.”
Stories, alibis, people which can lead them to new witnesses, or old friends who tell a new story.
“So if Sally had a boyfriend lets say that was a suspect that she was trying to cover for and needed an alibi and they couldn’t get past that,” explains Barefield. “That relationship may have changed so we go back to Sally and speak to her again and she may tell us the truth this time.”
Truth which can solve a case. Detectives who can give new hope to families searching for anything.
“The Detectives as we were driving down the street to meet her, she was already outside the front door waiting just excited that someone was looking at the case.”
Cases which can be changed with new eyes and new technology like DNA evidence, but is still reliant on people calling, talking, remembering.
“We say why didn’t you tell the officers this in the beginning?” said Lt Barefield. “Well i didn’t think it was that important. Then we tell them the piece of information you have is going to solve this case, its huge.”
Already the squad believes they are close to breakthroughs in several cases.
They’ve found four homicides they believe are connected.
Two other cases they’ve already alerted the district attorney’s office about, one step closer to an arrest or indictment.
They hope to solve 1-3 cases per year.
If you have any information on a cold case call (912) 525-2799, or make an anonymous call to Crimestoppers at (912) 234-2020.
If you want to see some of these victims,