• Cold Case Program students at the Capitol in Lansing

    Join the team

    The Cold Case Program will be taking applications for the Spring 2024 semester in early October.

  • First case solved

    Students involved in the Cold Case Program cataloged the 3,000-page case and put in around 1,200 hours of effort over the course of eight months to assist investigators in solving the murder of Roxanne Wood in her Berrien County home in 1987.

  • Cold Case Program team work on case
  • Cold Case Program students standing in front of police car

An immersive academic program

The WMU Cold Case Program with the Michigan State Police is an immersive academic program that equips students with the essential skills required for careers in law and law enforcement. Our program involves comprehensive training in forensic science, law, and criminal investigation tactics. Students accepted into the program will work alongside Michigan State Police detectives to review cold homicide and missing person cases, offering fresh perspectives and invaluable assistance in developing new interviews, determining the feasibility of DNA testing, and conducting research to support investigations. As part of this collaborative process, students gain hands-on investigative experience and a deeper understanding of the workings of the criminal justice system.

  • Being a part of the Cold Case Program has been life-changing. It has given me the opportunity to develop my investigative and leadership skills while making professional connections in the field. I feel confident and prepared to step into a career in criminal justice having gained real-world, hands-on experience working with the program.


As part of the Cold Case Program with Michigan State Police, student investigators gain countless skills by performing tasks such as:

Assembling tips, lab reports, photographs, police reports, and more into a timeline. Hours of work are dedicated to reading over a decades-old case.

Digitizing written on gold background

Scanning thousands of documents into a workable, searchable format. This format allows for easy searches and an accessible file for the investigators.

Analyzing written on gold background

Creating indexes, maps, timelines, and family trees in order to discover new tips leads to assist the detectives in their investigation.

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PLEASE NOTE:  Deciding which cold cases in Michigan to reopen/reinvestigate is a complicated decision-making process involving the type of physical evidence that is available and still testable, which witnesses are still available for interviews and whether weapons or property was retrieved at the time of murder.  The Cold Case Program with the Michigan State Police does not choose which cases will be reopened for further investigation. Please contact the Michigan State Police at (269) 657-5551 for further information.