Although there are no statutes of limitations for murder cases, the investigation itself can sometimes become “cold” when probative potential leads have all been exhausted, and the case remains unsolved.
All across the United States, unsolved cases are piling up on police departments’ databases, not for the lack of effort.
Burgeoning caseloads, the lack of staffing, and aging/retiring detectives make every unsolved case even harder to crack.
Since 1980, there are at least 250,000 unsolved murder cases, according to the FBI. Be that as it may, cold cases are regularly reviewed if ever new investigative methods are available or new clues come to light.
In April 2021, law enforcement in the County of San Bernardino, California, eventually solved a double-murder case from more than 40 years ago.
Two bodies were found buried in an isolated area of the Mojave Desert in 1980; both had not been identified until last April thanks to a Virginia woman, whose efforts to find her birth mother led to a shocking conclusion that she is one of the victim’s daughter.
10 /10 Accidental Discoveries
In November 1980, an archeologist exploring the Mojave Dessert found two dead bodies buried together in a shallow grave a few miles east of Ludlow, a tiny community located just off the Interstate 40 in a remote area between Barstow and Needles.
The bodies were unclothed and without IDs. An autopsy report revealed both had died from gunshot wounds and blunt force trauma.
Investigators were able to determine the bodies had been buried there for six to eight months. No one knew who the victims were.
9 /10 Jane Doe 10 And John Doe 29
The female victim, known to the local law enforcement as Jane Doe 10, was estimated to be between 20 and 21 years old at the time of her death.
The male victim was written on record as John Doe 29, estimated to be between 19 and 20. Information about the date of death remained unclear for a long while.
The case went cold for decades as no valuable clues were found at the gravesite. The police were unaware of the murders’ location, leading the investigation to a grinding halt.