Within our legal system, the crime of murder has no statute of limitations. Homicide investigators see the job of bringing these killers to justice as a solemn duty. They realize that justice is owed not only to the deceased victim, but to the family and friends left behind.
The safety of the community and the sanctity of human life also require that justice be served. A homicide case is considered closed when a suspect has been identified, charged, and arrested. In the case files of the Homicide Unit 164 cases, including seven missing persons cases, are still waiting for closure.
These cold cases, some dating back to the 1960s, lack the critical information or evidence needed to identify or charge a suspect. Declining rates of violent crime in Austin have lowered the Homicide Unit's caseload, providing an opportunity to reassign personnel to cold cases. The Cold Case Homicide Unit is assigned four detectives and a sergeant to work full time on cold cases. Now is an opportune time to re-examine cold cases for several reasons:
Advances in forensic analysis of evidence, such as DNA, may yield new clues or establish links to suspects that were not possible in the past.
Over time, alliances between suspects and witnesses may have diminished, removing the reluctance of those with knowledge of the crime to cooperate with investigators.
The killers themselves may have lowered their guard over time, leading them to confide information to others or come out of hiding.
If you have information pertaining to any of these cases, please contact the APD Homicide Unit's Tip Line at (512) 477-3588, or by email.