The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation recently created a Cold Case Unit that was formed to offer its investigative assistance to sheriff departments, municipal police departments, district attorney offices and federal agencies in an attempt to bring cold homicide cases to a successful resolution. A cold case is described as a crime, violent or otherwise, that has not been fully resolved and all leads have been exhausted.
The MBI Cold Case Unit has two major goals. The first goal is to remove as much of the administrative burden from the agency and detectives/investigators as possible by reorganizing and standardizing the case file. This includes organization of evidence, witness information, and other relevant/non-relevant case facts. The second goal is to conduct an independent review and analysis of the investigative file and all forensic examination reports and to determine what other examinations may be possible based on new technology. If new examinations are warranted, the MBI Cold Case Unit will assist the agency in resubmitting the evidence into the Mississippi Forensics Laboratory or help with locating other forensic experts for examination.
It is important to remember that the MBI Cold Case Unit is not assuming the investigative jurisdiction over the case. The responsibility of this unit is to continue the investigation where the original investigation stalled. The advantage of submitting a case to the MBI Cold Case Unit is to receive an independent review of the case by experienced forensic experts and investigators. The MBI Cold Case Unit will keep the requesting agency abreast of all developments with the case.
- The offense in question must have been committed within the state of Mississippi.
- The investigation must be a crime of violence such as death, rape, sexual assault, or other serial type offenses.
- Previously identified offenders and/or suspects are still alive.
- The district attorney’s office is willing to prosecute the case if the case is resolved.
- The requesting agency must provide the complete case file including all police and investigative reports, forensic examination and autopsy reports, all photographs and video recordings, audio recordings, transcripts (if available), and all other case documents collected during the investigation and most importantly, all investigative notes.
The selected case must also have certain “solvability factors” which would include, but are not necessarily limited to:
- Physical evidence was collected and is still available for re-examination.
- An investigative file exits and is available for review.
- Viable suspect(s) have been, potentially could be, identified and are still alive.
Submitting a case for review and analysis:
The first step in submitting your case for review is to contact MBI Cold Case supervisor Lieutenant Mark Steed at 601-987-1573 to facilitate the transfer of the case file.