Law Enforcement Bulletin

Sign up for newsletters and other news
Media > Newsletters > Law Enforcement Bulletin > August 2013 > Sessions Focus on Unsolved Homicide Investigations

Law Enforcement Bulletin RSS feeds

Sessions Focus on Unsolved Homicide Investigations

The Attorney General’s Office will offer a pair of free two-day symposiums this fall on unsolved homicide investigations.
Offered as part of the office’s Ohio Unsolved Homicide Initiative and led by the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), the Unsolved Homicide Investigative Strategies and Resources sessions are Sept. 25–26 in Richfield and Nov. 12–13 in Bowling Green. Earlier sessions were held in Cincinnati and Athens.

The symposiums are for detectives and supervisors conducting unsolved homicide investigations. The first day’s material covers methodology, case studies, impact on victims’ families, and legal and laboratory resources. The second day’s program includes case presentation and review, giving agencies a chance to present their unsolved homicide cases to a review panel for discussion and recommendations. The panel includes local law enforcement; BCI Crime Scene, Special Investigations, and Cyber Crimes agents; BCI laboratory personnel; and a representative of the Attorney General’s Special Prosecutions Section.
Here are details of the upcoming symposiums, which run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day:
  • The Sept. 25–26 sessions are at the Richfield Campus of the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy, 4055 Highlander Parkway, Richfield. To sign up, visit  and select OPOTA Course 53-706-13-01.
  • The Nov. 12–13 sessions are at Bowling Green State University Bowen-Thompson Student Union, Room 201/Sky Bank Room, off Thurstin Street, Bowling Green. Use the link above and sign up for OPOTA Course 53-706-13-02.
Agencies wishing to be considered for a case presentation should contact Jennifer Dillion at Each case presentation and review lasts an hour to an hour and a half, and agencies must have a detailed PowerPoint presentation outlining the particulars of their case, including evidence overview and suspect development.
“The responses have been extremely positive,” said Roger Davis, a BCI special agent who has been involved in Ohio’s initiative from the start. “There are ideas and investigative strategies exchanged that officers can take back and use in their cases.”
BCI offers many services valuable in unsolved homicide cases, and local agencies can take advantage of as many or as few as make sense for their investigations.
“At a minimum, we recommend a case review,” said Suver, a special agent supervisor who coordinates the AG’s Ohio Unsolved Homicides Initiative. That process reveals what other steps might be in order, such as digitization of the case file for preservation, evidence review, electronic media analysis, interviews and interrogations, blood spatter interpretations, exhumations, or other options.
In one case, BCI’s involvement led to more than 30 sets of fingerprints that could be entered into AFIS or used for comparison. Initially, the agency had only seven sets of prints from evidence in the case.
The simplest step local agencies can take in unsolved homicide cases — and one with a huge potential payoff — is to submit their cases for inclusion in the Attorney General’s unsolved homicide database. Located at, the database has grown dramatically in recent months.
It contained just 166 cases last fall, when Attorney General Mike DeWine announced a plan to focus more attention on unsolved homicides, compared to more than 1,800 in mid-August. Yet, the FBI estimates Ohio has more than 5,000 unsolved homicide cases.
“We truly want all of those cases on the website,” Suver said. “The more cases, the more traffic we’ll get from people who might have valuable information.” Ninety-one tips and 187 inquiries have resulted since the site was developed three years ago.
To submit cases: Law enforcement can call 855-BCI-OHIO (224-6446) or email for information on submitting cases for the site. BCI can help input large volumes.
BCI’s Project LINK can help resolve missing persons, unidentified remains cases
Like unsolved homicides, missing persons cases can keep family members in agony for years. Through Project LINK, more Ohio families are finding closure.
Project LINK compares the DNA of unidentified human remains and samples from relatives of long-term missing individuals. The comparison sometimes leads to DNA results that allow law enforcement and coroners to identify remains and solve missing persons cases.
In a case resolved in March, the remains of an Ohio woman missing since 1988 were identified. Earlier this year, Michigan authorities submitted DNA from an unidentified remains case to the national CODIS database, and it hit to DNA from the woman’s relatives that BCI had entered in 2001. BCI documented six hits last year and four so far this year through Project LINK, a program it started in 1999.
For information: Find out more about using Project LINK from BCI’s Criminal Intelligence Unit at 855-BCI-OHIO (224-6446) or