COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Columbus Division of Police on Wednesday launched a website that the department hopes will encourage people to submit tips that can help solve recent unsolved murders.
Major Crimes Bureau Commander Robert Strausbaugh, who oversees Columbus homicide investigations, came up with the idea, which he said came from the simple realization that CPD had no public list where people could see unsolved homicides.
“(This is) something that we had many, many years ago, and it kind of fell off by the wayside,” Strausbaugh said. “And, so, I wanted to make sure I brought it back.”
The website currently lists cold homicide cases going back to January 2019, and Strausbaugh said the department will continue to add previous murders.
Included in each month is a list of homicides including victim information and CPD’s synopsis of the incident. Some also have photos of the victims submitted by family members, a “humanizing” element, Strausbaugh said.
“We put the pictures of the loved ones up there who were involved in activity, who were smiling,” he said. “Makes you think of them when they were a kid.”
“My goal is this sparks interest in the community by looking at pictures like these and saying, ‘You know what, I need to step up, I need to tell a detective what I know about these murders,'” Strausbaugh said.
People with information that can help police solve a case are directed to click on links to CPD’s cold case unit and Central Ohio Crime Stoppers.
Coming this week
NBC4i.com is running a report on homicides in Columbus in 2021 the week of Feb. 6.
- Interactive map: Where people were killed in Columbus in 2021
- Young victims: Children who were killed by gunfire in the city
- Thursday: How self-defense claims are playing out from 2021 homicides