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Criminal Justice Update

Attorney General steps up focus on unsolved homicides


Attorney General Mike DeWine has introduced a plan to focus more attention on Ohio’s unsolved homicides. The effort involves listing every cold case homicide in the state on the Attorney General’s website and providing law enforcement with assistance from several BCI units.

“Those of us in law enforcement have an obligation to the victims, to the victims’ families, to do everything in our power to solve these cases,” Attorney General DeWine said in announcing the effort in September.

Listing cases on the Attorney General’s Ohio Unsolved Homicides site is optional for local law enforcement agencies. As of mid-October, the page featured 245 cases — a fraction of the more than 5,000 the FBI estimates exist in the state.

BCI can assist in these ways:

  • The Special Investigations Unit can review cases, assist with interviews, and provide follow-up support.
  • Crime Scene Unit agents can identify evidence for submission to the lab.
  • The Laboratory Division can analyze evidence that has been properly preserved.
  • Criminal Intelligence Unit staff can digitize and preserve case files.
  • The Cyber Crimes Unit can examine electronic devices.

As part of the stepped-up efforts, the Attorney General’s Office will feature an Ohio Unsolved Homicide case each month, hoping to raise public awareness and prompt people to call BCI’s tip line. BCI receives such tips regularly and forwards them to original investigating agencies.

BCI plans Ohio Unsolved Homicides Symposiums across the state in 2013 to share information with local law enforcement. Agencies interested in having cases added to the statewide database and featured on the Attorney General’s website can call BCI at 855-BCI-OHIO (224-6446) or e-mail