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Approaching Cold Case Sexual Assaults

Sexual assault is one of the most challenging crimes to investigate, and cold cases present even more unique difficulties. Many cold cases have minimal evidence, so considerable time will be needed to locate and re-interview the victim, suspect, and witnesses.


While cold cases do present unique challenges, it is important to remember that there have been numerous improvements in the field of forensic science, which is constantly evolving. It is possible that more advanced testing could shed new light on old evidence. As you review your case evidence, consider consulting with the KSP Lab to determine if additional testing is possible.

Re-evaluate all evidence in the corresponding investigation.

Prepare for Hit Notification

The KSP Central Lab will notify law enforcement and the prosecutor of CODIS hits.

Receive Hit Notification

Search for the victim and coordinate with local rape crisis center to plan notification.

Prepare for Victim Notification 

Rebuild trust and approach victim with patience and care.

Engage With Victim

Checklist and other information to assist with these cold cases.

Additional Considerations

Victims who were not perceived as credible at the time of their assault may have been exhibiting what is now widely recognized as typical post-trauma behavior.

Trauma-Informed Approaches

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