Nationwide, unresolved violent crime is a growing problem despite advanced technology, forensic applications, and modern investigative strategies. While the number of open homicides is unknown, we do know that the national homicide clearance rate has fallen to its lowest levels. Some have estimated there are more than 280,000 unsolved homicides since 1980, and thousands more will be added to that total each year. Additionally, on a National level we have been exposed to the fact that there are thousands of unsolved rape cases. This manifested itself in the fact that over 86,000 untested rape kits have been identified nationwide (BJA SAKI reported inventories 2016). Consider that many of these cases may be linked to serial sex crimes or unsolved homicide(s). For each unsolved rape or homicide, the potential exists that the offender remains at large to victimize again.
      There is also a growing concern over the amount of unidentified decedents and missing persons in the United States. There are over 84,000 reported missing persons in NCIC and every year over 600,000 people are reported missing. It is also estimated there are more than 40,000 unidentified bodies. These are low numbers because many of these cases are mishandled, closed, or reports are not taken. This has been called “The Nation’s Silent Mass Disaster (Ritter 2007).” In many instances missing persons and unidentified decedents are actually victims of homicide, yet justice is stalled until a positive identification is made. The amount of time and resources that any agency in the medico-legal community puts into long term missing and unsolved cases is voluntary and varies widely across jurisdictions. Each “case” represents grieving friends and family who exist in a horrific state of limbo, not knowing what happened to their loved one or where to turn for help. Far too often these families lack support because their cases are designated as “non-crimes” or “just a missing person.” Our goal is simple: to help increase the number of cases getting solved through policy recommendations, legislation, public awareness, and education.
      Our Mission is to work together as a consortium of cold case experts to bring awareness of, expertise in, and support for, the resolution of unsolved violent crimes (i.e. homicide, sexual assault, and missing and unidentified persons).

    Shared values:

    • • All open cases should be investigated to the fullest extent possible to bring a final, just, resolution. If long term cases have remained opened and are not up to contemporary investigative standards, they should be worked until they are brought to that level.

    • • As a community of experts and dedicated personal who work in the area of violent crimes, we should work together, share resources and organize the effort to impact this area in a positive way.

    • • Cold cases are not optional for investigation. A National campaign is needed to change the dialogue about open unresolved violent crimes.


    • • Create and advocate solutions to policy questions such as legislation in the areas of long term unsolved “cold cases” including homicide, sexual assault, and missing and unidentified persons.
    • • Provide a clearinghouse of experts and information related to the investigation and resolution of unsolved violent crimes as described above
    • • Establish standards and best practices in the investigation of cold cases for investigators.
    • • Communicate with and survey members of the cold case community to identify gaps and needs necessary to properly investigate unresolved cases.
    • • Provide cold case training, consulting, and other resources.
    • • Coordinate an outreach and advocacy program for the victims and victim's families of unsolved violent crimes.
    • • Reach out to all of the area an regional cold case groups/associations to create a network for sharing information and ideas.


    About Us:

      We are a group of research collaborators who develop suggestions and recommendations for policy based on the ideological mission of the group. The group is comprised of a team of highly experienced, nationally recognized experts and investigators which encompass a wide section of disciplines.
      The think tank is a special program of IFAAS (Institute for Forensic Anthropology & Applied Sciences) hosted at the University of South Florida in Tampa, FL. IFAAS is a Type II Research Institute in Florida, established by the Board of Governors in 2014. It is a 501-3c and has an associated USF Foundation Account for charitable contributions. The mission of IFAAS is to confront issues of missing, endangered, exploited, and unidentified persons and the need for innovative strategies for applying science and intelligence strategies to medicolegal death and violent crime investigations. These cases are typically related to homicide, human trafficking investigations, and mass atrocities. Committed to the pursuit and promotion of equal access to justice, IFAAS provides expert technical assistance, research, and training to law enforcement and medicolegal professionals in these areas. IFAAS Website:


    Contact Us:

    James M. Adcock, Ph.D.
    Email: or

    Dr. Adcock is a retired US Army CID Agent; a former Chief Deputy Coroner and professor of criminal justice and forensic science courses. He has nearly 40 years of investigative experience that includes lecturing to law enforcement and teaching courses at the university level. He specializes in the investigative process as it relates to the investigation of death with an emphasis on evaluating and investigating unresolved homicides. He attended a one year fellowship in Forensic Medicine at the US Armed Forces Institute of Pathology and is a graduate of the Advanced Detective Course, Metropolitan Police (Scotland Yard), Hendon, London, England. He obtained his doctorate from the University of South Carolina. From 1998-2008, while at the University of New Haven and a fellow for the Henry C. Lee Institute of Forensic Science, Dr. Adcock, designed, lectured and coordinated cold case workshops for police agencies from all over the country. Dr. Adcock has written two books, one on cold case investigations and the other on Death Investigation. His cold case book was adopted by the Dutch Police Academy where he lectures, in Apeldoorn, three to five times a year. Besides The Netherlands, he has lectured to police agencies in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, California, Alabama, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Missouri, and was a guest lecturer at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC. Dr. Adcock is a former VP for the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and served on their ethics committee for eight years.


    Rockne P. Harmon, J.D., District Attorney Alameda County (Ret.)

    Rockne P. Harmon is currently employed as a consultant to numerous law enforcement agencies dealing with such issues as cold case investigation and other issues related to forensic DNA typing. He had been an Instructor at U.C. Davis in the Masters in Forensic Science program from 2007-2015. He retired in 2007 after a 33 year career as a Senior Deputy District Attorney for Alameda County, California. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1967 and served four years active duty. He served a combat tour in Vietnam as Officer in Charge of a Navy Swift Boat and received the Purple Heart for wounds received in combat. He was the prosecutor in a triple murder case that established the general acceptance of conventional serological methods, the precursor to today's DNA technology.( People v. Lawrence Reilly). As a result of that case he was in a position to assist the forensic science community as it began the implementation of DNA typing soon thereafter. He has written and lectured extensively on the subject of the admissibility of forensic evidence, particularly DNA evidence. In 1998 he received an award from the FBI Director for his efforts supporting the FBI in their first decade of DNA typing. In 2003 he received the Achievement Award from the International Homicide Investigators' Association for his work on cold cases. He was the Chairman of the California District Attorneys' Association Forensic Science Committee and was on the Advisory Board to the International Homicide Investigators' Association for many years. At Alameda County he developed a highly successful protocol for solving old or unsolved cases using DNA typing. He was the driving force behind the California Attorney General's decision to implement familial DNA searching in California that led to the arrest of the "Grim Sleeper" serial killer in 2010. He was one of the prosecutors in People v. O. J. Simpson.

    James Holmes, International Homicide Investigator's Association President

    Jim Holmes has been a certified law enforcement officer in Wisconsin since 1995. He began his law enforcement career with the Dane County Sheriff's Department as a sheriff's aide. He then served as a patrol officer with the Fitchburg Police Department before obtaining a position as a special agent with the Wisconsin Department of Justice/Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) in 1996. Jim was assigned to DCI's White Collar Crimes Bureau for four years, while also being assigned to DCI's Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Unit from 1998-2001. Jim transferred to DCI's Major Crimes Unit in 2000 where he has been involved in numerous adult and child homicide and equivocal death investigations, officer involved death investigations, murder-for-hire cases, child abductions, child sexual exploitation, and child abuse and neglect cases. In his assignment to DCI's Major Crimes Unit, Jim has continuously been assigned and has worked several cold case homicide investigations. In 2001, he participated in the FBI's first Advanced Criminal Investigative Techniques (ACIT) fourteen week training program, and was assigned to the Child Abduction and Serial Murder Investigative Resource Center (CASMIRC) of the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC), where he participated in the investigations of various child abductions and homicides, while also being attached to the FBI's 205th National Academy class. He has served on the Board of Directors for the Wisconsin Association of Homicide Investigators (WAHI) since 2004, and he held the position of President for WAHI in 2010. Jim is the current President of the International Homicide Investigator's Association (IHIA) after being appointed to the Board of Directors as a Northern Regional Director in 2010.

    Dr. Erin H. Kimmerle, Ph.D., IFAAS Executive Director

    Dr. Erin H. Kimmerle is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology and the Scientific Director of the Florida Institute of Forensic Anthropology & Applied Science (IFAAS) and the Forensic Anthropology Laboratory at the University of South Florida. Her research is in the areas of human rights and forensic anthropology. Specifically, it is focused in the areas of trauma and pathology, identification, and human variation. Currently, she oversees a number of large, statewide projects including the Tampa Bay Cold Case Project and the Investigations into Deaths and Burials at the Former Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna, Fla. She is the co-author of the book, "Skeletal Trauma: Identification of Injuries in Human Rights Abuse and Armed Conflict" (with Jose Pablo Baraybar, CRC Press, 2008) and she has written and presented more than 150 articles, book chapters, case reports and scientific papers.


    Sgt. Jim Markey, Phoenix Police Department (Ret.)

    Sgt. Markey has over 30 years of law enforcement experience with the Phoenix Police Department. For over 14 years he directly supervised the sexual assault unit which is part of a multi-disciplinary sexual assault response team co-located in the City of Phoenix Family Advocacy Center (FAC). The Phoenix FAC provided a one-stop location for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. As part of his duties, Jim oversaw the investigation of more than 7,000 sexual assaults, including over 150 serial rape cases. In 2000, he was able to secure Violence Against Women grant funding to design, develop, and supervise a first of its kind sexual assault cold case team with the City of Phoenix. This team has been successful in reviewing nearly 4,000 unsolved sexual assault dating back 25 over years. Currently, he is a contract consultant for the DOJ Bureau of Justice Assistance - Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) under RTI, where his team provides technical assistance and training to over 50 SAKI and DANY grantee sites across the United States. Jim has been a member of several national and statewide efforts to develop, review, or update protocols e National Protocol for Sexual Assault Medical Examination, the State of Arizona Sexual Assault Response Guidelines, and the Arizona Attorney General's Office Cold Case Investigation Taskforce. He currently serves as a member of the NIJ SAFER Act Working Group and Editorial Team developing a national protocol for sexual assault evidence, NIJ Cold Case Working Group tasked with identifying standards for cold case investigation, the Department of Defense Committee on the Investigation, Prosecution and Defense of Sexual Assault in the Military, the Arizona Commission on Victims in the Courts (COVIC) , and the Arizona Forensic Science Advisory Committee.


    Cpl. Tom McAndrew, Pennsylvania State Police

    Tom McAndrew is a member of the Pennsylvania State Police and is assigned to the Criminal Investigation Assessment Unit, where his primary duties include the investigation of homicides and cold cases, as well as the behavioral assessment of crime scenes. Tom is one of ten Amber Alert designees in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania who routinely assist on cases involving missing or abducted children. He has over 20 years of experience investigating homicides and has testified as an expert in various courts in Pennsylvania. He is a member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, is a consulting committee and board member with the American Investigative Society of Cold Cases, is a member of the International Association of Bloodstain Pattern Analysts, International Homicide Investigator's Association, and past vice-president of the Middle Atlantic Cold Case Homicide Investigator's Association. McAndrew also belongs to Vidocq Society, an internationally recognized group of experts who provide pro bono services to homicide investigations world-wide. He is president of the Pennsylvania Homicide Investigator's Association, a position he has held since 2004. Tom is part of a National Institute of Justice interdisciplinary working group that is currently examining the best practices for resolving cold cases in the United States.


    Sheriff Chris Nocco, M.A., Pasco County Sheriff's Department

    Sheriff Chris Nocco earned a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice and a Master's degree in Public Administration from the University of Delaware. He is a graduate of the National Sheriff's Association, 101st National Sheriff's Institute; the FBI, National Executive Institute; the FBI Executive Leadership, 30th Session; and the Post Naval Academy, Executive Leadership Program. Nocco attended Leading Innovation with Existing Organizations, McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin, as well as Effective Negotiations at the University of Central Florida Executive Development Center. He is currently the National Sheriff's Association's representative on the CORE lab's social network analysis program. Nocco served with the Philadelphia Public School Police, the Fairfax County Police Department in Virginia, and the Broward Sheriff's Office. He was a first responder to the attacks of 9/11, the Washington Sniper Incident, the anthrax attacks, and numerous demonstrations and large protests in the nation's capital. Nocco was also a staff director to Rep. Marco Rubio in the Policy and Procedures Office, where he was responsible for domestic security, criminal justice, economic development and transportation issues. He also served as deputy chief of staff to the Speaker of the House Marco Rubio. Nocco served as chief of staff for the Florida Highway Patrol, where he assisted with reorganization, creating greater efficiencies, cost savings, and information sharing. He also served both as Captain and Major of the Joint Operations Bureau of the Pasco Sheriff's Office before being appointed Sheriff in early 2011.


    Major Jeff Peake, M.A., Pasco County Sheriff's Office

    Major Jeff Peake began his law enforcement career with the Pasco Sheriff's Office in January 1998 and worked in all three districts as a patrol deputy. He has also held investigative and/or leadership assignments in Property Crimes, Economic Crimes, Major Crimes, Special Operations, School Resource, Professional Standards, Field Training Officer Program and the Crisis Management Team. As a native resident of Pasco County, he attended Ridgewood High School and continued his education to obtain a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. Additionally, he received his Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Administration from the University of South Florida. He now serves as an adjunct professor teaching criminology courses. Major Peake has been recognized as Detective of the Year along with meritorious service awards for his leadership in the Field Training Officer Program and success leading an innovative burglary suppression team. He has also been recognized for his role in developing the Cyber Crimes Unit. Major Peake enjoys spending time away from work with his wife and three children, and stays active in his church and the community.


    Carrie Sutherland, NamUs Regional Systems Administrator

    In her current position as a Regional Systems Administrator (RSA) for the NamUs program at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, Ms. Sutherland provides case management and support for the stakeholders in her assigned region. She is responsible for assisting with case entry and enhancement, verifying cases with law enforcement, vetting secure users, training and outreach for her region. Carrie has been invited to serve as member of the National Institute of Justice's Cold Case working group and the Missing Migrant working group. She also serves on the University of South Florida's Regional Cold Case Advisory Board. Prior to her current role, she was employed by the NFSTC, where she served as a coordinator for the forensic and regional services for the NamUs Program. She functioned as a supervisor to RSAs and contract subject matter experts (SMEs). In addition, she provided case management delivery and as well as served a SME. Prior to her NamUs role, Ms. Sutherland was a Senior Forensic Specialist in DNA at the NFSTC. She was responsible for providing instruction for various DNA and Biological screening training programs and workshops. She also validated DNA instruments, performed technology evaluations and conducted DNA laboratory audits using FBI Quality Audit Standards. Before joining NFSTC, Ms. Sutherland was a crime laboratory analyst for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), where she performed forensic serology and DNA testing and provided expert witness testimony when required as a qualified expert witness. She was a local administrator for the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) database.


    Sally Wolter, Michigan State Police

    Detective Sergeant Wolter started her career as a police officer in Flint, Michigan in 1982. She has been with the Michigan State Police for over 31 years. From 2008 to 2017, she supervised the Kent Metro Cold Case Team, one of the most successful multi-jurisdictional cold case teams in the country. Before heading the team, she worked high profile major cases, including homicides, sexual assaults, and drug crimes. D/Sgt. Wolter is an expert in the field of Cold Case Homicide, Methamphetamine and OxyContin abuse. In addition to working complex cold case investigations, Detective Sergeant Wolter was the operational supervisor of the team and responsible for all grant administrative duties. Detective Sergeant Wolter developed the team's protocols and procedures for reviewing, evaluating and investigating cold cases. Since 2008, she has written several grants, securing federal funding for the team's operation. Under her supervision, the team solved 19 cold cases and was instrumental in changing legislation in Michigan mandating inmates to submit DNA samples upon entry into a correctional facility instead of waiting until their discharge date. Detective Sergeant Wolter has presented on the topic of cold case homicides and multi-jurisdictional team operations to law enforcement throughout the country. She holds an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice and is a member of the International Homicide Investigator's Association (IHIA), the California Homicide Investigator's Association (CHIA), The American Investigative Society of Cold Cases (AIOCC), a Peer Reviewer for the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), and assisted in developing best practices and protocols for Cold Case Teams as a member of the of NIJ Cold Case Working Group.