KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The metro area’s only investigative squad dedicated solely to cold cases started work today in Wyandotte County. Many in this community pushed to make this happen.
Three full-time detectives will begin reviewing unsolved cases for new evidence.
KCK police have about 285 unsolved homicides, some of which date back about 50 years.
A fresh review, combined with new DNA technology and other advances in forensic testing may help bring justice to victims’ families.
Missing person cases that appear to involve foul play also will be reviewed by the cold case unit.
“It’s always important to listen to your community,” said Karl Oakman, KCK police chief. “Even from day one, that’s what we heard, that the community really wanted us to look at our unsolved homicides, which I totally understand because I can only imagine if I had a family member that was killed or was missing, and it’s been years. You don’t know the suspect; you don’t know who walking among us committed that crime.”
Last year a citizen group called, “Justice For Wyandotte” demanded that KCK police form a cold case squad.
The group claimed that there are 66 unsolved homicides just in the last five years, too many they say for Wyandotte County.
The National Institute of Justice estimates that only seven out of every 100 law enforcement agencies in the nation have set up dedicated cold case units.