The Dothan Police Department continues to close murder cases. New developments in forensics investigations help detectives in solving the cases.
There hasn't been a murder in Dothan since last June, but still, Dothan Police investigators are trying to close cold homicide cases dating back to 1976.
"The older the case is, the harder it is to locate witnesses. They may have deceased since then or you may have people who moved out of state. And additionally, evidence in those cases has to be tracked and kept up with," Sergeant Stacey Robinson explains.
Of 106 murders in Dothan, only 18 of those homicides are still unsolved.
The most recent is Gene Nichols. Authorities originally thought 41-year-old Nichols was injured in a traffic accident when his van ran off Ross Clark Circle Christmas night in 2005.
Paramedics discovered a single gun-shot wound to his head, but police still hope to discover who put it there.
Another case still pending is that of Cynthia Wilson. Wilson's body was found in a field on East Burdeshaw Street in October 1999, a month after her disappearance.
Witnesses say they last saw Wilson in early September talking to a man in a truck, but that's all detectives have to go on.
So badly decomposed, Wilson was identified by the state crime lab.
It’s these new resources, police attribute to the low rate of unsolved crimes.
"With the advancements that we had now, in forensic science, in some cases we're able to go back to some of these old cases and forward some of that evidence back to the lab with newer technology and we'll hopefully be able to close these cases,” Sergeant Robinson says.
The families say the torment comes from not knowing who could kill their loved one and get away with it.
To check out more unsolved-cases in the Dothan area, visit www.dothan.org and click on the Police Department's link.
If you have information that can lead to the arrest of a suspect in one of the cases, call Crimestoppers at 793-7000.