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TUESDAY October 5, 2021: 'COLD CASE Warriors' by ZUMA Press Newspaper Tampa Bay Times award winning photographer John Pendygraft: Since 1980, 250,000 cold cases remain unsolved in the United States. On TV, old murder cases get solved pretty quickly. But in reality it's not that easy. Local investigators bring passion and commitment to the job, so they can give families closure. This Florida community of local professionals committed to cold cases is a tight-knit group. Let's meet some of them. Welcome to 'COLD CASE Warriors'
© zReportage.com Story of the Week #808: TUESDAY October 5, 2021: 'COLD CASE Warriors' by ZUMA Press Newspaper Tampa Bay Times award winning photographer John Pendygraft: Since 1980, 250,000 cold cases remain unsolved in the United States. On TV, old murder cases get solved pretty quickly. But in reality it's not that easy. Local investigators bring passion and commitment to the job, so they can give families closure. This Florida community of local professionals committed to cold cases is a tight-knit group. Let's meet some of them. Welcome to 'COLD CASE Warriors'
One of the key people who are dedicated to solving cold cases is ERIN KIMMERLE, forensic anthropologist, artist, and Executive Director of the Institute of Forensic Anthropology & Applied Science at the University of South Florida. Solving real cold cases, she said, means scraping for funding, dealing with a lack of resources and a shortage of political will. It requires grit, embracing social justice and fighting for marginalized communities.
© John Pendygraft/Tampa Bay Times via ZUMA Press Wire
Volunteer forensic artist, SERGIO SOTO is dedicated to solving cold cases. Six years ago, he saw a flyer for ''Art of Forensics,'' a workshop to make clay renditions of missing persons using 3D-printed skulls from forensic anthropologists. He was hooked. ''As I worked, I imagined how devastating it would be, losing one of my own family members, and I couldn't stop.
© John Pendygraft/Tampa Bay Times via ZUMA Press Wire
USF University of Southern Florida forensic anthropology graduate student GENNIFER GOAD one of the many different people who are dedicated to solving cold cases. Goad is studying chemical isotope analysis, which can help identify where someone grew up. ''A lot of missing people are homeless, victims of human trafficking or migrant populations, but they have loved ones, somewhere.''
© John Pendygraft/Tampa Bay Times via ZUMA Press Wire
Former lawyer, judge, state attorney and oral historian in EMILIANO JOSE (E.J.) SALCINES is dedicated to solving cold cases.
© John Pendygraft/Tampa Bay Times via ZUMA Press Wire
St. Petersburg Chief of Police ANTHONY HOLLOWAY wants anyone who thinks they got away with murder to know ''they should never feel comfortable. Someone is always, always going to be looking for them.''
© John Pendygraft/Tampa Bay Times via ZUMA Press Wire
Autopsy Technician LARRY NAPPERS just one of the many different people who are dedicated to solving cold cases.
© John Pendygraft/Tampa Bay Times via ZUMA Press Wire
Hillsborough County Medical Examiner KELLY DEVERS, left, and Associate Medical Examiner LES CHROSTOWSKI. Devers became a medical examiner to give voice to the voiceless. ''It sounds cliche, but we speak for the dead. We communicate for them in court, communicate for them with their families and any agency that was part of their life.''
© John Pendygraft/Tampa Bay Times via ZUMA Press Wire
University of South Florida (USF) forensic anthropology graduate students and staff dedicated to solving cold cases, let to right: GENNIFER GOAD, Dr. ERIN KIMMERLE, BARBARA ARRIAGA ESPINOZA, TUESDAY FRASIER, KELSEE HETSCHEL-FEY.
© John Pendygraft/Tampa Bay Times via ZUMA Press Wire
Death Investigators from left to right: MELISSA POPE, STAN BIELOUS, and ROBERT BUBAR are dedicated to solving cold cases. Pope knows that no matter how well she does her job, how much evidence she collects, how much time and how much of herself she puts into a case, it may not go the way she hopes. A room where she works is filled with unresolved original files.
© John Pendygraft/Tampa Bay Times via ZUMA Press Wire
Former Hillsborough County State Attorney MARK OBER is dedicated to solving cold cases. Ober would never forget the pain he saw on the (victims) relative's face. ''I thought, we all have chapters in our lives. These lost and unidentified souls, and their families, deserve that dignity. They deserve to have their identity. They deserve a final chapter,'' he said. Ober continues to offer pro bono work on cold cases.
© John Pendygraft/Tampa Bay Times via ZUMA Press Wire
Hillsborough County Sheriff Office (HCSO) Sgt. GREG THOMAS is dedicated to solving cold cases.
© John Pendygraft/Tampa Bay Times via ZUMA Press Wire
University of South Florida graduate student of forensic anthropology CHRIS TURNER and a veteran. At first, he concentrated on forensic anthropology with the idea of recovering lost service members, but his focus changed when he found out ''about atrocities that happened, not in any foreign culture, but right here at home.''
© John Pendygraft/Tampa Bay Times via ZUMA Press Wire
Hillsborough County Sheriff Office members dedicated to solving cold cases from left: Special Investigator DAN BENDIG, Cpl MOISES GARCIA and Special Investigator JOE DOMINICK. Garcia describes his work as a calling. ''I don't know anybody who gets into this line of work that is not 100 percent committed. They are Type A, driven to find closure, and they don't stop. It takes a special person.''
© John Pendygraft/Tampa Bay Times via ZUMA Press Wire
John Pendygraft

JOHN PENDYGRAFT has been a photojournalist at the Tampa Bay Times in Florida since 1997 covering local, national and world news. Based in St. Petersburg, Florida, U.S., Pendygraft's reportage is represented by ZUMA. Pendygraft has covered stories throughout his community, the U.S., Central America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and Asia. (Credit Image: © John Pendygraft/Tampa Bay Times/ZUMAPRESS.com):808



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