Homicide Case Procedure

Initial Response

  • You can expect 100% effort from all homicide detectives.
  • We cannot predict or guarantee results.
  • We cannot control when information becomes available.
  • We will follow the case until the end; statutes of limitations do not apply to homicides.

Investigation

  • Following a homicide, the lead investigators contact the victim’s immediate family. We make every effort to notify the family within 24 hours.
  • Within a few days, a Victim-Witness Resource Officer contacts the family to offer helpful resources and support.
  • We cannot always answer questions without compromising the investigation. Please understand that this does not mean that we are simply withholding information from you.
  • It is crucial for family and friends to share information with detectives about the victim’s history because it may be significant to the case.
  • If the detectives do not consider the victim’s property to be evidence or critical to the case, they will return the items to family when appropriate.

Media Reports

  • Understand that media reports and interviews can affect an investigation and prosecution.
  • If family and friends choose to speak with the media, it is recommended that they focus on what the victim’s loss meant to them and should not be about the investigation.

Cases

  • An arrest merely serves as another step in an investigation and prosecution. It does not signify the primary objective in a homicide case.
  • We meticulously and thoroughly investigate all cases to ensure effective prosecution.
  • Since a case is built on legal requirements, rules of procedure must be followed.
  • Witness availability, cooperation, and truthfulness is paramount.
  • You can expect notifications when a case is transferred to new detectives, major developments occur, and/or arrests are made.

Solved Cases

  • Victim-Witness Advocates from the District Attorney’s Office will contact the family when arraignments occur.
  • Grand Jury proceedings are closed to the public and should remain confidential if you are called to appear.
  • Trials can be long and grueling. Victim-witness advocates can provide support and resources during this time.