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Mar-03-2009 07:33TweetFollow @OregonNews
Cold Case Homicide Team in Multnomah County Has Big PlansSalem-News.com
MCSO Cold Case Homicide Unit's work
(PORTLAND, Ore.) - Late last year, Multnomah County Sheriff Bob Skipper swore in eight retired MCSO investigators to open and review 35 unsolved 'cold' homicide or suspicious death cases more than two years old.
Deputy Paul H. 'Mac' McRedmond, Public Information Officer with MCSO, says all the cases were initially investigated by the sheriff's office but for myriad reasons did not result in the arrest of suspects.
"The eight retired MCSO detectives and investigators are volunteers, working four hours each Tuesday and Thursday and outside the office as necessary and as time allows," McRedmond said.
"The eight have more than 250 years of law enforcement experience and in many instances were involved in the original homicide investigation."
McRedmond says that during a press conference Monday morning, Capt. Monte Reiser, head of the MCSO Investigation Division said, "when a violent crime occurs, every community seeks resolution. A concern for families is that their case has been forgotten. Let me assure the families that these renewed investigations are important to the Sheriff's and District Attorney's offices and that we will pursue justice and closure."
Cold Case investigators pair up to review cases, McRedmond explains, it is a process that includes going through thick binders full of old police reports and interviews, doing database research and interviewing key individuals as necessary and determining if old evidence could be submitted to the Oregon State Police Crime Lab for a re-examination using new technology.
"At least five of the 10 current priority cases have had evidence resubmitted to the crime lab. All of the Cold Case work is chronicled for review and prioritization."
McRedmond says Cold Case Unit investigators are paired with current Sheriff's detectives if people need to be interviewed or evidence submitted.
"The work can be painstakingly slow; the binders and evidence in one case involved 40 hours of review."
He says that in addition to the detectives' reviews and processing by the OSP crime lab, the public can play a key role in helping resolve unsolved cases.
"Many of the MCSO cases are 20 to 25 years old and during that time span people familiar with the death may have changed, matured and may no longer be afraid of talking to investigators. There may be a new or long-held desire to 'go straight' or clear their conscience," McRedmond said.
Capt. Monte Reiser added, "We are asking the public's help in providing any information that may assist detectives in finding out the truth – who is responsible for the commission of these serious crimes."
Information about the 10 cases is now on the sheriff's internet web site at: mcso.us/public/coldcase.htm. The public can call the cold case unit at 503-251-2449, a tipline at 503-251-2404 or via email with a link on the website.
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