JACKSONVILLE, Fla. The Florida 4th District Attorney, which is giving new hope to local families whose loved ones have been killed, has received a grant of $ 470,000 to reconsider cold cases.
The grant, which is provided by the US Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, will provide funding to help prosecutors in the Jacksonville area re-examine DNA evidence to investigate and prosecute cold cases.
“Family members never forget. And neither do we, “said District Attorney Melissa Nelson, whose office started the Cold Case Initiative in 2017.” Cold cases are difficult to investigate and rewarding to resolve. This funding will help us continue our search for the truth and provide answers to loved ones. “
Nelson pointed out that DNA has already helped resolve several known local cases, including the 1984 sexual battery and the murder of a 10-year-old girl and the kidnapping of a newborn from a hospital in 1998.
“The technology is advancing so fast that the DNA tested two years ago may already be tested again,” said Ryan Backmann, who started the charitable project Cold Case after the unsolved murder of his father.
Backmann said he thinks the grant could help police and prosecutors get new leads.
“All of these new technologies are cutting-edge, but also extremely expensive. So if you have a grant that’s willing to cover this stuff, that’s no longer an excuse,” Backmann said. “This is how we can get to the point of getting one of those cases where the DNA has been tested with the latest technology.”
25 years ago Valerie Ames, a 31-year-old mother of two daughters, was killed in an apartment by the river. The sting is still unresolved.
“She had so much time on this earth to live out her life,” said Michelle James, her youngest daughter. “Yes, there are colds. You are. They are still human. “
James hopes the scholarship will result in an arrest in her mother’s death.
“I want justice. I want an arrest. Yes I do. Above all, I want a name so I can name this face, ”said James. “There are so many facts and things we know about what happened to my mother that we believe there is a lot that could be brought to the table to help solve her case.”
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