Students to work on cold cases

by SOURCE Office of Texas Attorney General

Austin—Attorney General Ken Paxton announced a partnership between the Office of the Attorney General (“OAG”) and Texas State University (“TXST”) to facilitate educational opportunities and bring more investigative power to solving cold cases. The TXST program, termed the Cold Case Team, is a one-year internship program enabling students in the Texas State University School of Criminal Justice and Criminology to work with the OAG Cold Case and Missing Persons Unit (CCMPU).

Paxton established the CCMPU in 2021 within the Criminal Investigations Division to assist law enforcement agencies across the state with cold case and missing persons investigations. As of 2021, there were more than 20,000 unsolved homicides in Texas.

“This partnership will connect Texas State students with amazing opportunities to work alongside my office’s Cold Case and Missing Persons Unit,” Paxton said. “Since starting the unit in 2021, I have expanded our resources and expertise to bring justice to heartbroken families who lost their loved ones in cases that went cold.”

A cold case is a case in which all credible investigative leads known to the investigating agency have been exhausted. Cold cases have not necessarily been inactive for a fixed period of time; rather, local law enforcement agencies have investigated all evidentiary leads to the fullest extent practicable.

The program’s Cold Case Team will consist of four TXST students reviewing unsolved homicide and missing persons cases under the supervision of skilled criminal investigators and prosecutors. Students will work in teams of two and spend the duration of the course delving into all aspects of the unsolved cases to uncover and identify potential new leads. The students will review official information such as police records, witness statements, digital forensic data, autopsy and lab reports, and other case information.

The internship is designed for students planning careers in criminal justice with a strong interest in crime scene investigations, forensic science, digital evidence, and the legal system. All participants will undergo rigorous criminal background checks by the OAG Professional Standards Unit and must be eligible to comply with all state and federal requirements regarding the possession of criminal histories and other important confidential information.

Betcha Bingo