May 26, 2020 By Allie Griffin
The Queens District Attorney’s Office established a cold case unit in March and has reopened 35 unsolved murder cases since its inception, District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today.
The unit is the first of its kind dedicated to investigating unsolved homicides in Queens, where there are approximately 2,200 unsolved murder cases today, according to the District Attorney’s Office. No other Queens District Attorney has had a dedicated cold case unit.
“The loss of a loved one to a brutal and senseless act of violence brings unimaginable pain to families and loved ones of the victim. Not knowing who committed the crime and having justice elude them for years and in some instances decades is an additional heartache,” Katz said. “This new Unit will aggressively re-investigate these unsolved murders.”
Unit members work closely with the NYPD cold case squad and are using new forensic technology and nationwide databases to identify suspects in unsolved cases. Previous evidence that once yielded no or inconclusive results may now provide probable evidence through new DNA testing technologies.
“The goal is to find the killers and give the families of the victims the long-awaited justice they deserve,” Katz said.
Investigators with the unit have established a database to track the unsolved homicides and are digitizing older cold case files.
Katz has appointed veteran Queens prosecutor Karen Ross — who has been with the Queens District Attorney’s Office since 1998 — as chief of the unit.