THE PRIVATE INVESTIGATION OF COLD CASES
When a case goes cold, it’s easy to give up hope. When the police have moved on or even just given up, it can really knock the wind out of you. However, that doesn’t mean you have to fade away. While the prospect of solving cold cases is rare, it’s by no means impossible. Sometimes, the private investigation of cold cases reveals the one piece of overlooked evidence to bring closure. Be assured and understand, you will only get one shot at the apple when it comes to opening up a cold case. Therefore, do your homework before you select a private investigative agency to carry your burden.
A quilt in the case of Cathy Zimmer
While the case hasn’t actually been solved, the Santa Clara County District’s Attorney’s Office recently released a photo of a quilt that was found strewn over Cathy Zimmer’s body 25 years ago. She had disappeared for two days before being found strangled in the parking lot of the San Jose airport.
Investigators are hoping someone will recognize the quilt, as friends and family claim it did not belong to Cathy.
It’s also important to acknowledge that the authorities often withhold evidence like this to help advance their search. Unfortunately, you have to wonder if that didn’t help the case to go cold.
A Miami cold case is solved 23 years later
23 years ago, two men found the lifeless body of Ivelisse Berrios Beguerisse. It’s believed she was lured into her murderer’s car on the pretense that he was being a good Samaritan and offering her a ride. Once inside, she was sexually assaulted before being murdered.
It was only recently that two detectives were assigned the cold case and decided it was worth performing DNA testing on key evidence.
Tests confirmed the murderer as a man named Oba Chandler, who was even previously a suspect in the case and because his participation in other grisly murders. He was executed in 2011 after being found guilty of killing three tourists in Tampa Bay.
A cold case from 1989 gets put to rest
Just about 25 years ago police responded to an early morning call reporting a rape in progress on 15th and Thompson in Philadelphia.
When they arrived, they found the dead body of a 19 year-old woman in the back of an Oldsmobile. She had been beaten and strangled.
About a month later, police found the body of a 33 year old woman inside a vacant bar that had long since burned down. She, too, had been strangled.
DNA testing was again the hero in this story. Just 26 at the time, Rudolph Churchill was recently tracked down to his home in New Jersey where police finally arrested him.
How private investigators can help
Though private investigators may not have a crime lab at their disposal for the sake of testing DNA, they can go a long way in helping move a case forward, even when the investigation is underway. The key factor that the top one percent of private investigators can do in cold cases is get your case to be reopened. If they don’t acknowledge being able to do that from the beginning, save your time, money and grief. Simply stated, don’t hire them.
One of the most important things a private investigator can do is work with the police. As former Federal agents, the private investigators at Martin Investigative Services have critical experience in investigating crime scenes, working with local authorities, gathering court-admissible evidence and, most importantly, they have mastered the art of interview and interrogation. Our expertise is used in trying to get your case to the head of the proverbial stack of crime files in that particular law enforcement office. Be careful who you select as your investigator as you generally only get one shot at reopening and/or solving a case.
Police departments around the country are completely different. Many are stretched thin and strapped for manpower and funding. Sometimes mistakes are made and key facts of a case can get overlooked.
At Martin Investigative Services, we make no guarantee that we can solve a cold case. However, we will always be honest with you about the reality of the situation. Please note, we take only one out of ten cold cases presented to us in our Newport Beach, CA corporate office. If police are no longer actively investigating your case and you would like a second pair of eyes to review the facts of the case and potentially shed new light on it, please contact us today.
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