Rockford Police Creating "Cold Case" Website

By: Meghan Dwyer
By: Meghan Dwyer

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Over the years in Rockford, hundreds of murder cases have gone unsolved and many leads have now gone cold.

The Rockford Police are in the process of setting up anew website they hope will help them close the book on some of the city's most heinous--and almost forgotten--crimes.

Starting next year, Rockford Police intend to put cold cases online. They will highlight one unsolved murder a month under the hope the attention could shed new light on long forgotten tragedies.

Rockford Police have been tracking homicides since at least 1966. The master list has thirty three pages of murders dating back decades. Some of those cases have never been closed. The site will show pictures of the victim and any sketches there may be of a suspect. Police say not all unsolved cases are cold cases. A case becomes cold when police stop getting any new information from the public.

Rfd. Police Detective Marc Welsh said, "It will be a description of the unsolved homicide, maybe the facts and circumstances, most likely a picture of the deceased individual, and then contact numbers where you can contact the police department if you do have information."

Before the site goes live police say they still need to inform victims' families. People who think they have new information on a cold case will be able to anonymously call police, much like CrimeStoppers, but they may also be able to email police directly through the website.

Police may form a new Cold Case unit within the department and that unit would be dedicated to solving old murders. Police say they want victims' families to know their cases haven't been forgotten.


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