Approached by clients to assist in working cold case investigations, we often find difficult cooperation with members of law enforcement. While we are former members of the law enforcement community, and know the importance of not compromising evidence in an open investigation, we still are met with uncooperative detectives and prosecutors.
Two cases we were contracted to work on, both old cases that needed something to move them forward, yet, with all of our experience and hopeful communication, we could not break through.
Missing Person Case from 1987
The first case is a Missing Person Case where the victim went missing in New York in 1987. We had been working on this for over two years. From the first day we were involved with this investigation we received resistance from the law enforcement agency that was assigned the case.
We met with the Investigator assigned and introduced ourselves and told him that the family had hired us to look into the matter. He immediately informed us that “this was an active police investigation,” although nothing had been done with it for twenty five years, and that we could not interview the three individuals who saw the victim last.We stated that we did not intend to interfere with the investigation in any way.
As a former member of law enforcement I told the Investigator that any information we may obtain we would immediately turn over to him and not do anything to jeopardize his case. We conducted interviews of several people, but their statements did not contain any useful information. Their names and addresses and what they told us were all turned over to the assigned Investigator.
Recently we were contacted by a witness that did have very important relevant information. After speaking to that witness we immediately contacted the assigned Investigator and informed him of what the witness told us. He stated that he would contact the witness and obtain an official statement and that we should not have any further contact with that witness.
Unsolved Homicide, Cold Case
The second case was in New Jersey and was a homicide from 1985. The son of the victim is an an Iraqi war veteran. He contacted us and asked us to help find his mother’s killer. We contacted the Detective who was assigned the case and explained who we were and that the family had hired us to look into the matter.
The Detective was very receptive and told us that his department did not have a Cold Case Unit and that he was working the case whenever he had time. Unfortunately because of his case load that was not very often. He informed us that he had some leads in the case that he did not have a chance to run down and maybe we could help him with that. I explained we would be glad to assist him. He told us he would speak to his boss and get back to us.
Unfortunately when he called back he told us his boss, the local Prosecutor, would not allow him to share any information with us and did not want us investigating the case. The Prosecutor stated, “We don’t cooperate with Private Investigators.” Needless to say the Detective, the victim’s son and I were very disappointed.
As a 20 year veteran of law enforcement and having worked another 18 years as a Private Investigator I don’t understand the reluctance on the part of law enforcement to let us assist them. In this economy with municipal budget cuts, lack of manpower and rising case loads you would think they would welcome the help.
As Private Investigators we have the resources to spend on these cold cases. We obliviously cannot arrest the perpetrators of these crimes, but that is not what we are trying to do. We simply want to bring justice and closure to the family members. When I was on the job that was our goal as well. I guess times have changed.
Management Resources Ltd of New York is a professional investigative firm licensed in New York and New Jersey. . Management Resources is a member of the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Associated Licensed Detectives of New York, and Founding Members and Regional Directors of Investigating Innocence, and are available for interviews or speaking engagements. Contact ImaginePublicity at 843-808-08509 or email firstname.lastname@example.org