Harlingen, Texas (KVEO)-Murders that go unsolved are classified as cold cases. While many of the murders that take place in the Rio Grande Valley are quickly resolved by police, others take years to produce leads.
These stories can impact anywhere from a small town to a big city.
Jose Macias, Mercedes Police Chief, explains two things are needed to help solve cold cases.
“Number one and two is manpower and the last part is you need [is] dedicated officers that take the case into being a priority,” said Macias.
Jonathan Flores, Alton Police Chief, also says having extra help to solve the case could be beneficial.
“All investigative leads have already been exhausted,” said Flores. “It’s very important that in the situations that agency administrators are able to reassign these cases to additional investigators so they can get a fresh perspective.”
In a 2007 study, it showed that 7% of law enforcement agencies in the United States had a dedicated cold case unit 10% had investigators and were dedicated to cold cases, according to Flores.
Solving a cold case is not like what we see on television. It takes time.
“There is a process, and it takes time so a lot of times the community and the public.” said Flores, “I think that things can be accomplished with you know its not a magic wand and that’s not the case.”
Macias said advances in technology have helped sparked hope in unsolved cases.
“Today’s technology allows us to use tools that we never used before everything from the comparison of digital fingerprints,” said Macias.
Cameron County Sheriff Eric Garza said building a relationship with the public can go a long way and they are in the process of looking back on all their cold cases.
“So we are reviewing them and we are going to go out and then ask the help of the community for more information,” said Garza. “We can go ahead and continue the investigation and hopefully get a resolution to somebody’s families or individuals,” said Sheriff Garza.
Flores said unsolved cases can stick with the officers who worked it.
“This profession at times you see the worst of the worst in people,” he also said. “You go home, and you hug your family a little tighter because of the experiences you had at work.”
If you have a tip regarding a cold case, contact your local police department.
To contact Alton Police Department click here.
To contact Cameron County Sheriff’s Office click here.
To contact Mercedes Police Department click here.