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June 19th, 2013

Getting Help on a Cold Case

People often ask in the comments section about what to do or who to call about an unsolved murder. The answers to those questions are on the left under the heading: Getting Help – Contacting a Cold Case Squad.

First read the document titled Before You Contact a Cold Case Squad. Then look up the number in the document Cold Case Squad and Other Organizations.

If you can’t find a number for your city or town on my list, call your local police department and ask them if they have a cold case squad or a person in their homicide squad who specializes in cold cases. If they don’t then ask to speak to someone in their homicide squad. If you don’t get what you believe is a decent response, then go to the document on the left titled, Escalating Your Case.

If you have specific questions after reading through these instructions, or as you go along, please ask here, but come back to see the answer!

NOTE: If you don’t have the information you need to give to the police, you might try going to the library first before contacting them. I give instructions for that here.

As you gather information, please keep in mind the amazing story of Joselyn Martinez. Ms. Martinez really did her homework and as a result, the killer of her father was found and brought to justice. There are so many resources available on the internet now.

If you are asking for information about a murder victim who is unrelated to you (a murder you read about or that happened near you, or perhaps someone you knew a little) and you’ve always been curious to know what happened, you should also begin online and at the library.

This is an old picture of Police Laboratory equipment.

→ 9 CommentsTags: Uncategorized ·

9 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jen // Jul 9, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    Hello. My mother’s cousin was murdered in her home in Forest Hills, Queens, in 1974, stabbed multiple with a broken bottle. There were no signs of forcible entry; there were also bars on the windows of her home. Aside from the broken bottle used to murder her, there were no signs of a struggle. Also, her infant son was in the house when it happened, but was completely unharmed. At the time, her husband (now deceased himself) was a resident at a hospital. When asked to account for his whereabouts, he stated he was asleep at the hospital. No one could definitively confirm whether or not this was actually true. The detectives assigned to the case suspected her husband was responsible, but said there wasn’t enough evidence to proceed. His subsequent remarriage just about 6 months after the murder raised questions as well. He died of natural causes about 20 years later. There was never any real closure for the family, since no one was ever brought to justice. My mother and I have started doing some research on our own; I can’t imagine we could find out enough on our own that would say definitively who was responsible, but we want to try.

  • 2 Stacy Horn // Jul 10, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    I’d be the same way. Since her husband has since died, you might try talking to people close to him. Or perhaps people who were close to him at the time. They may have not been willing to talk at the time but they might be willing to talk now. Appeal to their humanity and the fact that family still lives who could finally get closure and it can’t hurt him now.

  • 3 Shirley Hollis // Aug 2, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    To Whom It May Concern:
    My nephew my sister’s son was last seen on 1/24/2001 in the vicinity of 53 Stanton St. In Manhattan. The detective in charge was Det. Lewis. My nephew’s name is Curtis Glover. Please help us to get closure. Thank you!

  • 4 Stacy Horn // Aug 2, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    How terrible. I have no experience in missing persons cases, I’m afraid. Anything I could suggest I’m sure you’re already pursing, but just in case, there’s The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs), and The Doe Network.

    You should explore both of those if you haven’t already.

  • 5 Donald keith Polcyn // Jul 31, 2015 at 10:43 pm

    I think my sister wad killed by her husband.. Tammy June Maremontes…aka Tammy June Polcyn… Suiside? Nope not her

  • 6 Stacy Horn // Aug 1, 2015 at 11:02 am

    I am sorry about your sister. I’ve written some guidelines for disputing the cause and manner of death:

  • 7 Milton Arias // Dec 29, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    My friend Sergio Ayala was murdered in the Bronx in either 1991 or 1992. He lived in NYCHA Housing located near the mall on White Plains Road in the Bronx near Stevenson High School. Sergio lived in this complex with his parents, a brother named Jose and a younger sister named Betsy. Someone informed me that someone shot and killed him and wonded male friend he was with the night of his murder. The friend survived but was left with brain damage for the rest of his life. I’m looking for some information regarding his murder and if anyone was ever brought to justice for this crime?

    Thank you,

  • 8 Stacy Horn // Dec 30, 2017 at 11:39 am

    I’m very sorry about your friend, Mark. I will email you.

  • 9 Milton // Dec 30, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    Good morning Ms. Horn,
    Thank you for responding promptly to my post regarding my friend Sergio Ayala. His family moved from the housing complex where he lived. Unfortunately leaving Virginia and returning to NYC was a decision that eventually lead to his demise! He left his job as a bank employee in Manhattan and left the city with a girlfriend. The girlfriend whom I never meet left him a “Dear John” Letter when they lived together in Virginia. It’s just one of those life things that I will never forget! There are some cold cases that always “stick” like my friends murder and the other two below:

    *NEW YORK — Twenty years ago this week, Camden Sylvia and Michael Sullivan — a committed couple living in a large loft space at 76 Pearl St. — vanished without a trace.

    *The “Gilgo Beach” Case

    I will definitely buy your book! I read a lot of books on forensic science, forensic psychology, criminology and cold cases. I also have an interest in “The Innocence Project” and familial DNA. I pray everyday that criminals are apprehended and justice is served! Also, that the families of the deceased get “closure”.

    Thank you once again for the information you provided. If you find further information it would
    be greatly appreciated!

    Milton Arias
    Brooklyn, NY

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