SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY (CBS13) — At a time when DNA technology is leading to more cold case arrests across the state, the number of unsolved murders and rapes keeps growing in San Joaquin County, according to a grand jury investigation released Friday.
The report found cold cases in San Joaquin County are rarely solved.
The grand jury identified more than 500 open cold case investigations but they say there are likely many more unsolved rape and murder cases because San Joaquin County has no standard tracking system and there is no team dedicated to solving them.
The sheriff’s department, District Attorney’s office, and Stockton Police Department each have one part-time investigator working cold cases. That’s compared to full teams in neighboring counties like Sacramento, who’s work led to the high-profile cold case arrest of East Area Rapist Suspect Joseph DeAngelo.
The report also found hundreds of the San Joaquin County cases do have DNA evidence that has not been tested.
The grand jury is calling for each county law enforcement agency to develop a plan to prioritize and track cold cases. They also want eight investigators between the three agencies, dedicated full time to solving cold cases.
The DA’s office said it is “pleased to see the civil grand jury acknowledge the importance of funding and resources for cold case investigation in San Joaquin County. The office also said it has been requesting funding for cold case investigations for two years.