Florida Sheriffs Association Announces Cold Case Review Team
Ocala, Fla. (August 19, 2015) – Today, the Florida Sheriffs Association (FSA) held the first meeting of their new Cold Case Review Team (CCRT). The CCRT Committee is an inter-disciplinary approach for reviewing the available information and evidence from homicide and selected missing persons cases that have not yet been solved. A committee of subject matter experts reviews the available information, presented by case officers from the submitting agency, and offers investigative advice based on their expertise and newly emerging scientific technology.
Homicide clearance rates decreased from 91% in 1965 to 63% in 2007. While numerous theories related to what caused this change exist, in the early 60s most homicide cases involved individuals who knew one another. By the mid-90s, 53% of all murders were between strangers, making them more difficult to solve.
The Committee is chaired by three sheriffs:
- Sheriff Chris Blair, Marion County – Chair
- Sheriff Sadie Darnell, Alachua County – Vice-Chair
- Sheriff Wayne Ivey, Brevard County – Vice-Chair
The members of the committee will include:
- A Florida Medical Examiner
- A DNA scientist
- A polygraphist
- A state prosecuting attorney
- A representative of the Florida Attorney General’s Office
- A Florida Missing and Endangered Persons Information Clearinghouse representative
- Four highly experienced homicide investigators
- A representative of the Florida Department of Corrections
- A Crime Scene/Trace Evidence expert
- A representative from the FDLE Fusion (Intelligence collection) Center
- Two Professors of Forensic Anthropology<
- A representative from the Central Florida Intelligence Exchange
The Cold Case Review Team process provides a fresh look at the existing evidence and information. Any law enforcement agency may submit a Cold Case for review after the circumstances are reviewed by the sheriff of the county where the homicide or missing person occurred. Under certain circumstances, the CCRT will not only offer advice but will arrange for human resources to assist the case officer. A case submission form with established criteria along with a power point template will be provided to submitting officers to guide them through the presentation process. The CCRT will meet quarterly to review cases.
What they are saying:
Marion County Sheriff Chris Blair said, “Many victims of violent crime fade to memory as time passes. But, for those intimately involved, family, friends, and yes, investigators, the lack of closure and the not knowing what happened linger on. I want them all to know that we have created this team to help bring that closure.”
Alachua County Sheriff and Florida Sheriffs Association President Sadie Darnell said, “There are cases that haunt each and every one of us, as Florida Sheriffs. The hope is that the new Cold Case Review Team will help us to solve the previously unsolvable and bring peace to the families of these victims.”
Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey said, “Florida has too many unsolved mysteries. There are children that went missing more than twenty years ago, and there are murder victims whose killers have yet to face justice. The Cold Case Review Team was founded for those children and for those whose lives were cut short by violence. You have not been forgotten and we will continue to investigate on your behalf.”
Florida Sheriffs Association Executive Director Steve Casey said, “This team is a great opportunity to bring together experts from more than a dozen disciplines, and from across the state, to collaborate and bring new technology to these cold cases. Hopefully, we will be able to make significant headway on the cases that have been unsolved for many years.”
# # #
The Florida Sheriffs Association is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 corporation made up of the Sheriffs of Florida, approximately 3,500 business leaders and 70,000 citizens throughout the state. Founded in 1893, FSA has quietly served the citizens of Florida by supporting the needs of the state's law enforcement community. Through the Florida Sheriffs Association, Sheriffs are given a forum to address lawmakers to push for positive changes in Florida’s public safety arena. FSA also provides Sheriffs' Offices much-needed programs such as affordable training, special task forces and legislative and legal services. Dedicated to the prevention of juvenile delinquency and the development of lawful, productive citizens, FSA has established and funded the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches with facilities throughout the state to help restore hope, fulfill dreams, and prepare boys and girls for the future. It has grown to be one of the largest and most successful state law enforcement associations in the nation. For more information on the Florida Sheriffs Association, visit http://www.flsheriffs.org.