Massachusetts State Police Colonel Kerry A. Gilpin today announced the creation of a statewide Unresolved Case Unit to investigate unsolved homicides and other violent crimes to seek justice for victims and their families.
The new unit will be comprised of five Troopers who are experienced homicide investigators who will work in conjunction with the state’s district attorneys, who maintain jurisdiction over homicides in their counties, to identify open cases in which a renewed investigative focus may prove helpful. The Troopers will carry individual caseloads but will also work together frequently as a team, as warranted, to pursue leads and further investigations under the direction of the district attorney of jurisdiction.
“There are many cases over the years that, even in light of the outstanding and tireless efforts of police and prosecutors, have not been resolved for any of a variety of reasons. I hope that by creating a dedicated unit to focus the investigative skills of these experienced troopers, backed by forensic and other resources of the Massachusetts State Police, we will build upon the excellent work already done on these cases and, in conjunction with the district attorneys, achieve the breakthroughs we need to secure justice for these victims and their families,” Colonel Gilpin said.
Creation of an Unresolved Case Unit has been a priority for Colonel Gilpin, who formerly served for many years in the Department’s Crime Scene Services Section documenting and preserving evidence critical to homicide and other major crime prosecutions. Today’s announcement follows numerous discussions Colonel Gilpin initiated with the state’s district attorneys and victim advocacy professionals to explain her goals for the new unit and build a foundation for collaborative efforts.
“After a homicide, surviving family members spend a lifetime seeking to understand their new existence without their loved one,” said Liam Lowney, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance. “Families who’s cases remain unsolved struggle with additional questions about what happened to their loved one and who was responsible. While these families lives will remain forever changed, the dedicated State Police detectives assigned to this unit will allow them an opportunity to learn answers to these unsettling questions.”
The Massachusetts District Attorney’s Association, through its president, Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz, also has expressed support for the new unit.
“This initiative was made possible through the ongoing support of the Baker-Polito Administration and the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security in our efforts to bring offenders to justice and support victims and survivors,” Colonel Gilpin said.
The Department posted openings for the sworn-members today and will interview interested applicants later this month. The unit’s members will have investigative experience and professional relationships in different regions of the state to further the goal of a true statewide unit and ensure smooth integration with various prosecutorial offices. The Unresolved Case Unit will be part of the Department’s Division of Investigative Services.