In the mid-2000s, despite the extra burden it placed on other detectives carrying as many as 20 cases at a time, the King County Sheriff’s Office in Seattle tried giving Detective Jim Allen and a colleague more time to focus on a few cold cases, says the Seattle Times. The experiment eventually paid off: In 2009, a jury found James Groth guilty of the 1975 stabbing death of his 16-year-old classmate, Diana “Dinah” Peterson, at her home in Richmond Beach.
The Sheriff’s Office was able to start a new cold-case squad with money from a federal grant. It funded a team of two full-time cold-case detectives and a crime analyst. The grant was renewed in 2011 and the squad had hoped for another renewal this year. The renewal didn’t come. After closing at least eight time-intensive investigations, the squad has run out of funding and will disband by the end of this year. Had there been funding, the squad would have stayed busy; 228 missing-person and homicide cases dating to the 1940s remain unsolved.