• Cold Case Program team photo

    Join the team

    Students work with Michigan State Police to examine cold homicide files and then collaborate with legal and law enforcement professionals.

  • 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 students looking at case files
  • Cold Case Program students standing in front of police car

PLEASE NOTE:  The Cold Case Program with Michigan State Police does not determine which homicide cases will be reopened for further investigation.  Please contact the Michigan State Police at (269) 657-5551 for further information.

Program Overview

The WMU Cold Case Program, in partnership with the Michigan State Police, is a hands-on academic program that helps prepare students for professions in law and law enforcement. Students accepted into the program receive training in forensic science, law and criminal investigation tactics.  They then collaborate with the Michigan State Police to examine cold case homicide files and in the process, gain investigative skills.


What program participants do

As part of the Cold Case Program with Michigan State Police, students have a number of opportunities to gain skills by performing tasks such as:

  • Organize cold case homicide and missing person files.
  • Read through the evidence, prior police interviews and information gathered by detectives on potential people of interest
  • Discuss potential tips with current and former detectives working on the chosen case
  • Scan all documents in the cold case file and create a digitized file that is searchable.
  • Research people of interest in Census data, social media and historic newspapers.
  • Create forensic art like age progression photos of people of interest
  • Engage with media (under the supervision of Dr. K) as representatives of the program
  • Attend legal proceeding of defendants

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