Tampa Bay Cold Case Project
In Florida, there are more than 500 individuals who either died alone or were recovered in public places and whose identities are still unknown. These cases represent unsolved homicides (cold cases) and individuals who died from natural or accidental causes. Within the Tampa Bay Area there are nearly 80 unknown, unidentified individuals and more than 350 unsolved homicides. Over the past two years, a service oriented research initiative, the Tampa Bay Cold Case Project, has brought the Forensic Anthropology Laboratory at the University of South Florida together with local Medical Examiner Departments and associated law enforcement agencies throughout the region.
The goals for this initiative are to: 1) aid with human identification; 2) systematically apply a comprehensive set of methods and tools to all unsolved cases; 3) investigate regional homicide patterns; and 4) document osteological, chemical, burial and post-mortem factors about each case to develop a baseline of data relevant to the local population and natural environment in the region.