Portland, Ore. — The Portland Police Bureau (PPB) announced the reinstatement of its Cold Case Unit, thanks to a grant received in 2023 through the National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI). The unit, originally formed in 2004, aimed to review and investigate unsolved homicides dating back to the 1960s, utilizing advances in technology.

During its 18-year tenure, the Cold Case Unit reviewed over 270 cases, resulting in the clearance of more than 50 cases and the charging of over 30 individuals with homicide-related crimes.

However, in 2022, the Cold Case Unit was disbanded due to resource reallocation amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, civil unrest, unprecedented retirements and resignations, and increases in both homicides and gun-related crimes.

The $2.5 million grant will fund four detectives and provide $300,000 for advanced testing, including Forensic Genetic Genealogy (FGG). This reinstated Cold Case Unit will not only focus on unsolved homicides but also unsolved missing persons cases and other violent crimes such as robberies and assaults.

Chief Bob Day expressed gratitude for the opportunity to bring back the Cold Case Unit, highlighting the potential closure it could bring to victims’ families and its role in apprehending violent offenders, ultimately aiming to reduce crime in the community.

With hundreds of unsolved cases to address, the Cold Case Unit will prioritize its caseload based on severity, with homicides being the top priority. Violent crimes will be prioritized based on the time remaining on the statute of limitations.