CASA GRANDE — Once a year detectives and retired investigators work on bringing justice to victims who might otherwise fall by the wayside as they review files of cases that have gone cold.
Casa Grande Police Sgt. Chris Palmer, whose Criminal Investigations Division oversees solving crimes both old and new, said it’s never to late too bring justice for victims and their families.
In Casa Grande, Palmer has assembled a team of volunteers, mostly former law enforcement officers, to review the old cases in hopes that a new set of eyes might find something overlooked. In the past year, those volunteers have reviewed and submitted their findings to Palmer and his team. Two of the cases, a homicide and another death investigation, will be resubmitted to the Pinal County Attorney’s Office for review.
“We believe there’s enough new information on the cases to file,” Palmer said.
Four cases that CGPD had previously considered cold now are considered cleared. Palmer didn’t specify the types of those four cases.
Palmer said four cases — two sexual assaults, one sexual abuse and one child abuse — have been turned back over to the department’s detectives to look at new leads. The department currently seeks suspects on the cases.
Additionally, volunteers currently are reviewing 13 cases.
“We look at each case annually to see if there have been any developments and our volunteers comb through evidence,” Palmer explained. The volunteers also supply Palmer with supplemental reports to review so he can determine what resources the department can allocate to those cases.
Palmer said the department’s oldest case goes back to 1963.
And while a case more than five decades old might seem like it’s futile to investigate, Palmer said the department still hopes to bring fairness and objectivity to every case.
“If you can bring a victim’s family justice, you want to do it,” Palmer said.