The Attorney General’s office established the new Cold Case and Missing Persons Unit. It’s expected to be running by the end of November. Texas currently has more than 19,000 unsolved homicides. Mindy Montford is the Senior Counsel for this new unit. She previously worked cold cases in the Travis County District Attorney’s Office.
Cold Case and Missing Persons unit set to launch this month
Montford has experienced law enforcement’s limitations solving them. For decades-old cases, Montford said law enforcement could have little to go on. Evidence could have been stored improperly and people needing to be questioned could have relocated or died. At the end of the day, it all boils down to resources and funding.
This new office will be focused on connecting police departments with resources in Texas and across the country. The office will draw from a panel of retired experts in a variety of fields including forensics, law, and law enforcement.
Police departments lack the resources to investigate cold cases
The new unit actually surveyed 400 police departments and the one thing that they needed the most was cold case detectives that serve full-time on cold cases. The survey found that only 5% of police departments have a dedicated cold case unit. Most of those units are run with only 1-3 members.
When it comes to solving cold cases, it can boil down to DNA. However, many times a police department does not have the funds for the testing or is faced to wait a lengthy time. Many are forced to wait six months to a year. The Waco Police Department said they have more than 100 cold cases dating back to 1973. They look forward to getting the much-needed help from this new agency.