Sarpy County Local News

Omaha’s ongoing battle against unsolved crimes

Omaha, Nebraska – In Omaha, the lingering pain of unsolved homicides has found a poignant space on the Omaha Police Department’s website. Here, visitors are greeted with faces, names, and untold stories of individuals whose lives were prematurely taken, their cases shrouded in uncertainty, waiting for a resolution.

Since the 1960s, Omaha has witnessed approximately 350 such unsolved cases, often termed as “cold.” Sgt. Chris Spencer, a dedicated professional from the cold case unit at OPD, sheds light on the ambiguity surrounding when a case goes cold. “It could be three months, a year, two years,” he remarked.

The Undying Hope of Families

Beyond the numbers and statistics, each cold case carries with it the grief of a family, awaiting justice. Sgt. Spencer’s voice brims with empathy as he says, “Those families have lost a loved one and they’re gone.” The intention behind the Cold Case Awareness Month is profound. It’s a message to these families that their loved ones are “not forgotten.”

However, the journey to solving these cases is laden with challenges. The most formidable of these is the reluctance of potential informants to come forward, often out of fear for their safety. But Sgt. Spencer urges these individuals to break the silence, assuring them of their anonymity. “They don’t need to give us their name, just the information,” he emphasized.

The dedicated team at the Cold Case Unit tirelessly works towards unveiling the truth behind these mysteries. “They’re working hard every day and night,” Sgt. Spencer acknowledged, underscoring the commitment of these investigators, who often sacrifice their personal time for the cause. And when their relentless efforts bear fruit, the satisfaction is unparalleled. “When you’re able to knock on that family member’s door and let them know that it’s been solved,” Sgt. Spencer expressed, capturing the profound impact of their work.

For those with any leads that might aid in solving these cold cases, the OPD homicide unit can be reached directly at 402-444-5656. Alternatively, one can also contact Crimestoppers at 402-444-STOP (7867) and help bring closure to these lingering mysteries.

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