A cold case is a case that has been dropped by law enforcement for at least 36 months.
Karra Porter, co-founder of the Cold Case Coalition, said it’s easy to get involved in helping solve these dropped cases. She said the public may have missing pieces or evidence that can help if old evidence has been lost or destroyed. “Sometimes, just talking to someone who actually knew the person can be very valuable.”
The Utah Cold Case Coalition started about a year ago. Porter shares a little about how she and co-founder, Jasen, got together.
“A family came to us, the Tapia family. Young Rosie Tapia was raped and murdered in 1994 when she was six years old. The family was frustrated with apparent lack of progress and the lack of transparency, not even knowing if the case was being worked on. And came to another co-founder, Jasen Jenson, who’s a private investigator and he started working on the case. They also came to me to see if I could help get them more information in my capacity as a lawyer. When we were in this process of investigating this case we quickly realized there is just a huge need out there,” said Porter.
And since then, they’ve worked on more than 2 dozen cases. Porter said, “We feel really good about a half dozen cases that we believe have either been resolved or we are on the verge of resolving.”
Private investigator and co-founder, Jasen Jenson, builds off Porter’s explanation of staying involved and resolving these tragedies. “I’d probably say as general advice, not so much on a missing person thing, get your head out of your phone. Enjoy the air. Enjoy the sun. Enjoy the flowers. Live your life a little.”
Jenson says that even though he and Porter focus on cold cases this general advice of looking up, being aware of your surroundings and talking to people can help you stay safe and stay involved in solving these cases.
The coalition offers rewards of up to three thousand dollars for information that directly leads to a conviction.