The money will go towards the pursuit of justice for violent crime cold cases. 

Colorado’s law enforcement and investigative teams have worked long and hard to solve the many cold cases that plague the state. The search for justice is never done, regardless of how long ago the crime occurred. A $500,000 grant was recently awarded to the Denver Police and Denver District Attorney’s office just last week.

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) awarded the grant, which will go towards the investigation of 72 cold cases being looked at under Denver’s Integrated Cold Case Project, which was launched in 2004 as a collaboration between Denver Police Department, the Crime Lab, and the DA’s Office. The funds will go towards the investigation of 72 unsolved violent crime cases dating back to 1970, as well as cases of homicide and sexual assault that have never been prosecuted. The hope is that all the cases affected under the grant will be solved over the next three years.

Denver has received previous grants from the NIJ, and this is the third, making for over $1 million awarded in recent years.

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These increased funds will allow for more personnel to be hired and the crime lab to devote more resources to the gathering, identification, processing, and analyzing of evidence to help bring these cases to filing and eventual prosecution.

“This grant will allow DPD’s Cold Case Unit to dedicate additional resources to investigating 72 cold cases that occurred between 1970 and 2016 and that are comprised of eight sexual assaults and 64 homicides,” said Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen in a press release. “The goal is to advance these investigations to a point where they are ready for a case filing presentation to the DA’s Office.”

The Cold Case Project has had great success in identifying and convicting several serial rapists including Warren Foster, Byron Gay, Michael Lollis, Warren Foster, Richard DePina, and the conviction of murderer Roderick Elias, 30 years after his crime.

This is wonderful news for the families and survivors of victims of unsolved crimes, giving hope that justice and closure for their loved one may still be possible. We applaud the efforts of the Cold Case Project, and the three agencies that work towards solving these cases and wish them great success.

What do you think about this news? Is there an unsolved case of particular interest to you? Let us know in the comments.