Though he is not a cold case investigator, Detective Sgt. William Carter of the Indianapolis Metropolitan police used his own time over the past two years to look into the unsolved rape and murder 22 years ago of Carmen Hope Van Huss, 19. The city agreed to pay the $1,600 cost of a DNA test that Carter hoped might identify a suspect. But when that test went wrong and the city balked at paying for another, Carter set up an online crowdfunding page and asked for donations, reports the Indianapolis Star.
Seven hours after he began asking for donations, he had exceeded his goal. But when the Star published a story about the DNA-test crowdfunding, police officials pulled Carter from the case. They insisted he was removed over department jurisdictional issues, not the crowdfunding. “We just want to make sure that people stay in their lanes,” said Major Chris Bailey. “We have cold case investigators, and we want to let them do their job.” Officials say they are not sure whether they will authorize the new DNA test. Van Huss’ family members are infuriated. “This is insane,” said her brother Jimmy Van Huss.