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How to start a cold case

A cold case is one in which the trail in the investigation reaches a dead end and the case remains unsolved. Needless to say, the lack of leads and dead ends in an investigation is hugely frustrating, not only for the investigators involved but also for the victim’s loved ones. A cold case investigator in Phoenix AZ, who may have new ideas on how to approach the unsolved mystery, may be called in to help with the case.

Cold cases are not always about unresolved homicides. A cold case investigator may also be called in to find missing persons, or to look into sexual assaults, mysterious deaths and unidentified deceased persons.

It is reasonable to assume that a decades-old cold case becomes impossible to solve with the passing of time, as memories fade and valuable information is lost. But this is not necessarily true as a cold case investigator expert can bring a new set of eyes to a case to try to uncover new leads.

Why do some investigations go unsolved? Sometimes errors may have been made during the investigative process or leads were not properly and thoroughly followed. Other common reasons cases go unresolved are the absence of evidence or witnesses, or lack of technology available such as DNA testing capability.

The process of solving cold cases

For most people, trying to find new information to solve a cold case may seem like finding a needle in a haystack. After all, a long time has passed, witnesses may have died, records lost, and a timely gathering of evidence no longer possible.

The good news is that a cold case investigator expert does not need to start from scratch – there is information available. Some of the useful tools that are accessible to a cold case investigator include: police records, interview records, witnesses to be interviewed, case files, court evidence and death records.

The process of initiating a cold case investigation is a surprisingly simple albeit time-consuming. A cold case investigator will apply their expertise in detective work to the tools available to bring new life into a trail gone cold.

Following are the steps to start a cold case investigation:

Step 1: Gather all the evidence

Gathering all evidence is a critical first step that will help a cold case investigator understand the current state of a case. This evidence will include information uncovered from criminal investigations, evidence collected by the clients, and –also important today– social media data.

Step 2: Contact witnesses

Talking to anyone connected to the case can shed new light on the facts and offer new leads to follow. For this step to prove fruitful, a cold case investigator will need to pose questions that were not asked in the original investigation.

In the original investigation, witnesses may have been hard to identify or find, leading to insufficient evidence. Talking to every person of interest identified can make all the difference in gaining additional knowledge of the case.

Another benefit of re-interviewing persons of interest is the opportunity to probe and pose questions that were not asked before. Re-interviewing witnesses allows a cold case investigator to uncover new pieces of evidence they need to move the case forward.

Step 3: Continue to gather evidence and ask questions

Step three is basically steps one and two on a loop that repeats itself until the case is solved. Undoubtedly, this is a laborious and time-consuming process that requires dedicated legwork. A cold case in which a cold case investigator persistently gathers new information, locates more witnesses to ask more questions and analyzes this information to ‘connect the dots’ is more likely to get the answers they need to close the case successfully.

Why choose Cutty & Associates

When looking for the best cold case investigators in the business, you can put your trust in Cutty & Associates. Our cold case investigation experts have the right expertise and experience in proper documentation and evidence gathering to find a resolution and bring relief to the family of the victim.