The recent rise of true crime podcasts has made everyone a little more familiar with the term “cold case.” The reality of modern cold cases, however, is often trickier than the average podcast will make it seem. Cold cases that are brought back to life put a significant amount of emotional strain on the victims' families. Newly-accused parties also have to go through the stress of building up a legal defense, sometimes seemingly out of the blue.
Breaking Down Cold Cases
There is no consistent definition of a “cold case.” Instead, individual definitions fall to each state. According to the National Institute of Justice, even cases that are only a few months old may be deemed “cold” if the attending police department believes they have exhausted all of their potential leads.
That said, it's become a little easier for individual police departments to address cold cases that arose in the 20th century. The increased versatility of today's technology makes it easier to develop new case theories based on DNA evidence or investigative conjecture.
Cold Cases in Pennsylvania
As of 2021, Pennsylvania has a few different resources available to police officers looking to solve the state's oldest cold cases. Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers, for example, rewards fruitful tips left by anonymous members of Pennsylvania communities. The National Clearinghouse for Science, Technology, and the Law also keeps a database of the state's cold cases open to the public. These cases all invite members of the public to come forward with any information they have while also elaborating on the data police have already put together.
It is resources like these that tend to bear significant fruit, despite their reliance on public memory. For example, a case from 1976 is back in the news nearly twenty-five years after it first opened up courtesy of several Crime Stoppers tips.
Pennsylvania state police recently arrested Luis Sierra for the murder of Evelyn Colon, previously only known as “Beth Doe.” Colon's body was originally found dismembered in a series of suitcases along the Lehigh River. At the time, police confirmed that “Beth Doe” has been pregnant at the time of her murder, but they hadn't been able to identify her killer.
The police note that it was tips and eyewitness testimony that led them to accuse Luis Sierra of Colon's murder in 2021. Lt. Devon Brutosky of the Pennsylvania State Police emphasizes that details are being kept light for the sake of case clarity. Even so, it's said that Sierra was the last person to see Colon alive in 1976. The allegations raised against Sierra will be raised in court come April 28th.
Responding to Cold Case Accusations
Time is a complicated factor in several of today's cold cases. That's why no one involved has to go through the stress of building a legal defense on their own. Instead, interested parties can reach out attorney Joseph D. Lento and his team at the Lento Law Firm. The Lento Law Firm's years of skill can help all parties involved in a cold case trial better understand their standing and actionable avenues.
Ready to discuss with attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm representation and how they can help? Reach out today via 888-535-3686 or courtesy of the Firm's online form.