Inside the Evidence: An inside look at unsolved murder cases

February 22, 2018 03:35 AM

News10NBC is launching a special series: Inside the Evidence. We'll be going where you can't - inside police investigations of unsolved murders.

RPD investigators say they have about 500 open homicide cases dating back nearly 50 years. In an effort to close these cases, News10NBC has been given unprecedented access.

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For the first time ever, News10NBC is getting a look inside the room all of RPD's Major Crimes cases are stored.

"The oldest years we have back here go back to 1969, and it just runs from there," said Lt. Frank Umbrino.

RPD got a new filing system a couple months ago. It was paid for with drug seizure money. Finding information on a cold case didn't used to be so easy.

"We were going back between old files in a room, memory, the handwritten logs we had," said Lt. Umbrino. "It was extremely difficult and extremely frustrating."

So far, they've organized the Major Crimes cases up until 2005 in this new filing system. However, all cases from 1969 to the city's most recent murder have been entered into a computerized master log.

"This is one of the first things we did," said Lt. Umbrino. "We took all the handwritten logs and put them into here. So there are over 2,000 entries in here."

Every week, investigators get together with the District Attorney's Office to go over open cases. News10NBC was granted access to one of these meetings. On Wednesdays, an RPD sergeant is assigned a cold case to review with the group.

"A lot of these cases - the public has just forgotten about them just because of the age, things keep piling up, new cases keep coming in that grabs the community's attention," said Assistant District Attorney Perry Duckles.
Lt. Umbrino says many times just one tip could crack the case.

"A lot of these cases, even though they're open, we know who the suspect is," Lt. Umbrino said. "We know who did it. It's just getting enough evidence to have a successful prosecution with it."

In the next few weeks, News10NBC will go Inside the Evidence of a triple homicide in Rochester from 15 years ago. We'll show you evidence never seen before. Stay tuned.


Nikki Rudd

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