Monday, November 8, 2010

FBI and Police Search for Clues in Illinois Cold Case

FBI and Local Police Search for Clues in Illinois Cold Cases

By Joseph L. Giacalone

Along a stretch of highway in East St. Louis, Illinois, the FBI Evidence Team and local police searched for clues in a cold case.  A tractor cut down the tall grass, as law enforcement officials used metal detectors to scour the ground, but officials didn’t say who or what they were searching for.  It is also unknown what the federal nexus is, but the FBI does not have jurisdiction in events such as these, therefore the local police are on the scene.

What the police may do in this cold case investigation:

1. If a body is what they are looking for, numerous holes will be drilled into the ground to vent the area so that cadaver sniffing dogs can be brought in.  The process is time consuming because the area has to be given ample time to vent in order for the dogs to be effective.  The location of the scene makes it even more difficult.  The trucks and cars that pass by may prove to be a distraction for the dogs.

2.  As the ground is leveled off, the police will probably use ground penetrating radar to identify any voids in the ground that may contain what they are searching for, more than likely a body.  Those voids will then be excavated.

Whenever the police are involved in a cold case "dig" such as this, a member of the medial examiner's office / coroner must be there, especially a forensic anthropologist. The forensic anthropologist will be able to determine right on the spot if the bones found at the scene are human or animal. Having members of the forensic team at the scene saves countless hours.

Watch the Video


  1. I think it's great that there using new technology for an old case. As of right now, there is no current update on their situation. Thought i do think it is a great idea, I think they should release more information on the cold case to the public. I don't think a cold case such as this one should be stressed and so the second option seems most viable because it's the least time consuming of the two. To me it seems like their not even sure if there's a body out there. Maybe they just enjoy being out doors?

  2. I agree with mhoj about the fact that they are using modern technology in order to solve cases such as these. In addition, as they say in the 1st statement that they make, if they are looking for a body then, they should made a alternative road so than cars and others vehicle do not interfere with the investigation, especially when is time for the dogs to look for glues.

  3. I agree with the two previous comments and wonder about the Fed-link but...any movement in cold cases is much needed and appreciated!

    Good post!

  4. i am agree with mhoj for this event, why the FBI not using the new technology to investigate? as long as they bring the police dog, it's better to spend the time on cuting the tall grasss. if the FBI just enjoy being out doors, i think they took over the local park police's job.

  5. I believe bringing in the police dogs will be effective due to the fact those dogs can be very helpful at time like these. As for not announcing what is it that they may be searching for, I consider that to a productive management tool, due to the fact we do not know what circumstances they are working under. They might not want to make the public aware or receive any extra attention from the media or else where, if what they are looking for is not what they come across. PSC301

  6. Nicholas Foy PSC201
    1950 - 2105 (Tues,Thurs)

    I am suprised that they would use such advance technology in a cold case file. I wonder how much it costs the family to have that cold case file re-opened for investigation? i believe the second option would prove to be the most sufficient in this investigation due to the fact that there are more distractions when it comes to the dogs.