(KUTV) -- A non-profit group working to turn up new evidence in unsolved murders and disappearances is seeking help from "packrats" throughout the country, a press release stated.
“In some of these unsolved cases, especially the older ones, records have actually been thrown away,” Utah Cold Case Coalition founder and Salt Lake City attorney Karra Porter said in a press release.“This is before records could be digitized and stored in small spaces.”
However, the Coalition believes missing files can be recreated.
In October, the organization got a tip about an unsolved Utah murder from the 1990s, Jason K. Jensen, the Coalition's co-founder, said. When the group looked into the new information, they discovered the police didn't have the records to that particular case anymore.
“We thought about who might have had copies of the records back in the day.”
The Coalition made a few phone calls and found someone with three boxes full of police reports, interviews, lab reports, transcripts, audio and VHS recordings tucked away in his basement.
“Former law enforcement or their heirs are a likely source,” Jensen said in a press release. “A law enforcement officer might have retired, or might have taken something home to work on, and it might still be there.”
Other people who may have information regarding cold cases include: private investigators, journalists, former court personnel, court reporters, local historians and family members.
Check your basements,” Jensen urged. “If you have records or evidence that might be from a cold case, you can be a big help.” “Packrats” can bring cold case material to their local police station. Or, if they don’t feel comfortable doing that, they can contact the Coalition.
If anyone who has information regarding a cold case can submit tips to the Coalition through its Facebook page, email at UtahColdCaseCoalition@gmail.com or call the anonymous tip-line at 385-CLUE-313 (385-258-3313).