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Before You Contact a Cold Case Squad

The detectives have huge case loads. You’re more likely to get help quickly if you give them everything they need to help you right up front, and if you give it to them succinctly. Keep your phone call or email brief.

Before you contact them, have the following information ready and organized, as much as you can pull together. If you don’t have everything, contact them with what you have, but the more you can give them the better. Try calling a relative, or someone else who knows the victim. Maybe they have some of the information you do not. You might also consider going to the local library and searching through local newspapers using something called Proquest (very simple to use) or microfilm if Proquest isn’t available through your local library.

Bottomline, and I can’t stress this enough, the more effort you put into this upfront, the more likely it is that you will get help.

– Name of Victim (include nicknames, married names, maiden names).
– Date of Homicide (as exact as you can).
– Location of Homicide (as exact as you can).
– How they were killed.
– Law Enforcement Agencies that have worked on the case, include case numbers, names and telephone numbers of anyone who worked on the case.
– The date of your last contact with law enforcement. (Again, as close as you can get, even if it’s only a year, ie, “The last call I got was in 1988.”) How it was left? Who called you? What information did they give you?
– Your name.
– Your telephone number.
– Your relationship to the victim.

The following is less important, but might be needed.

– Victim’s Date of Birth.
– Victim’s Social Security Number.
– Victim’s Death Certificate (This is not crucial and only useful in certain cases. If you don’t already have this, contact your city’s Department of Vital Records. However, they will only give death certificates to the immediate family.)

Once you’ve gathered all the information you can, please consult this list of Cold Case Squads nationwide, and other useful organizations: click here.

If you are not getting an adequate response from law enforcement click here for instructions.