Local authorities still working on decades old murder cases
Three years ago Lima Police solved the nearly 20 year old cold case of Haskell Woodley, 33. He was shot at point blank range in the apartment complex known as the snake pit, where Lima Senior High School now stands.
When a murder happens detectives work against the clock looking for a killer, but sometimes killers go free, but those cases stay open.
Every three months Lima police officers review homicide cases that have gone cold. There are three from the past 15 years that remain unsolved.
"It's extremely frustrating because they want to solve every single case and one open case out of hundreds is unacceptable," Lima Police Department's Lt. Jim Baker, said.
The Allen County Sheriff's Department also reviews cold cases periodically. It has nine spanning from 1979 to 2000. The most recent of those cases is the murder of Mario Parra in August of 2000. He was found dead in a cornfield off east Hume Road in Perry Township with no head or hands. It's a case where DNA evidence may someday help find the killer.
"With technology changing we want to certainly solve each case as time goes because there may be with different types of technology they have, there may be something that can link a small piece of evidence to someone or other persons involved," Allen County Sheriff Sam Crish, said.
Three years ago Lima Police solved the nearly 20 year old cold case of Haskell Woodley, 33. He was shot at point blank range in the apartment complex known as the snake pit, where Lima Senior High School now stands. Detectives cracked the case by following up on some old leads and re-interviewing witnesses.
"You're really looking for a resolution. When someone loses a life there is absolutely no winners and if you can bring any kind of a resolution it's extremely gratifying for the family and the entire community," Lt. Baker, said.
Although cases like Woodley's give detectives hope in solving more cases, they know it's an uphill battle the longer the case goes unsolved.
"Time is not your friend and the farther you are away you are from the event, the more difficult it is to solve a case," Lt. Baker said.
Just last year Van Wert detectives solved the cold case of Joann Rogers and her two daughters who were killed in 1989. Their killer was executed in November.