A $500,000 federal grant is reviving the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department’s efforts to investigate cold homicide cases, says the Indianapolis Star. Justice Department funding will pay for two retired homicide detectives to sift through hundreds of unsolved cases that have stymied investigators for decades. The grant also will fund a cold-case database to help investigators sort through evidence and identify the cases most likely to be solved. Those with the best chances of yielding DNA will be examined first, said Natalie Kroovand Hipple, whose firm, Crime Control Research, will provide the researcher to build the database.
The researcher “will look at the cases and come up with a rating system,” she said. “We’ll start reading the files for all cold cases. Did they mention underwear, a bloody shirt, something that could possibly have DNA?” The $500,000 would run for 18 months, but local officials intend to reapply. Law enforcement agencies in Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, and Minneapolis are among those that received federal money to investigate cold cases. “There’s a lot of things they can do today that they couldn’t do 20 years ago,” said Bob Hoke, who retired from the Indianapolis Police Department in 2001 and hopes to be rehired as one of the new investigators. “Someone needs to get in the property room and see what’s there.”