Cold Case Problem Statement:

      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:

    Cpl. Tom McAndrew



    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. Tom 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. He has been recognized for his efforts in numerous homicide investigations including having previously been named Pennsylvania's Homicide Investigator of the Year. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and Master’s Degree in Investigative Forensics from Desales University.



    James M. Adcock, PhD

    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. During those same years he supervised the pro bono review of numerous cold cases for police agencies.

    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. In February 2917 at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, he presented his research results on cold cases, An Exploratory study into the Status of Cold Cases in the USA 1980-2014. Besides lecturing on homicides and cold cases Dr. Adcock consults with various agencies with respect to their ongoing cold case investigations.  He is also a member of the NIJ Cold Case Working Group.



    Sgt. Jim Markey, Phoenix Police Department (Retired)



    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. For the past 15 years Jim has been a certified and nationally recognized trainer delivering in person and on-line webinar training for a numerous criminal justice organizations on sexual assault investigations and response. This included national, local, and tribal training in the all areas of violence against women, including domestic violence, strangulation, and sexual assault. Jim's expertise and experience has been used in specialized investigative case review as well as conducting assessments for law enforcement agencies of their sexual assault unit response. This includes a recently completed a comprehensive assessment for the Tempe Police Department (Tempe, AZ) Sexual Assault Unit. 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.  



    Dr. Erin H. Kimmerle, IFAAS Scientific 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.