CONCORD — Supporters of establishing a cold case unit to investigate unsolved homicides and missing person cases hope they took one step closer yesterday to getting a proposal past the Senate.
The Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony from the bill's prime sponsor and several others who say such a unit could bring justice to families who have grieved for years about the unsolved murder of a loved one.
New Hampshire has 92 unsolved homicides and several missing person cases that would likely become murder cases if more evidence were developed in those cases, according to Assistant Safety Commissioner Earl Sweeney.
"We do feel that 10 to 15 percent of these cases could be successfully worked on," Sweeney said. "There's a family behind every one of those cases."
Sweeney, who supports the bill, said unsolved murder cases are now only worked on as time allows.
"You have investigators working on a case and when a new one comes in, you have to go and work on that case," Sweeney said. "In the best of all worlds, I would like to see this (unit) fully funded."
Families said they have seen how the lack of manpower has affected investigations firsthand.
Ann Marie Gloddy-Ring, a Franklin native, told lawmakers she and her sisters are still mourning the 1971 rape and murder of her 13-year-old sister Kathy.
"We've had to live with this and no one has been brought to justice," she said.
The investigation has been restarted and stalled over the years, in part because there isn't a dedicated focus on it, she said.
Private investigators testified that more recent cases have suffered the same fate due to a lack of resources.
John Healy, a former state trooper, said he and several other private investigators have been working to solve the 2004 disappearance of Maura Murray, a case now believed to be a homicide.