An unsolved homicide investigation demands multi-disciplined, seasoned investigators who are prepared to turn over every rock in search of answers to bring closure to that victim’s family. However, for a plethora of reasons, homicide investigations can go cold. Once all leads are exhausted, law enforcement, with a heavy heart, packs away the files and relocates them to a warehouse populated by hundreds of other cold cases from the jurisdiction. To prevent their loved one’s case from gathering dust on a shelf, many families opt to have an independent private investigator conduct an unsolved homicide investigation in order to get the due-diligence and clarity their family deserves.

There are many reasons why local law enforcement may be unable to close an unsolved homicide investigation. While none of them are comforting to a victim’s family, there are very real issues that can hamper an unsolved homicide investigation from the very beginning.

Lack of experience

It’s not uncommon in “sleepy” counties or jurisdictions for law enforcement to be unprepared for the complexities of a homicide investigation. These are the communities you think of from a more innocent time—when people didn’t lock their doors and violent crime was nonexistent. Put simply, law enforcement trained and conditioned within certain jurisdictions may lack the diverse experience to properly conduct an unsolved homicide investigation.

Lack of resources

In the same vein as insufficient experience, if a particular jurisdiction lacks resources vital to an unsolved homicide investigation, the chances of closing the case are limited. Resources can indicate many things such as labor power of officers and other law enforcement personnel, necessary scientific equipment or professionals, and the proper administrative support network to keep the entire process moving.

Case load

Even the most proficient and equipped law enforcement departments can expect to run into roadblocks during an unsolved homicide investigation when caseloads for homicide detective exceed reasonable expectations. In cities and municipalities where the homicide rate is high, a single homicide detective might be carrying as many as 30 cases at a time. This forces the detective to significantly divide their attention equally (or otherwise) across their caseload. As a result, evidence and witnesses disappear, and the quality of leads diminishes significantly with the passage of time.


Law enforcement personnel must adhere to their jurisdiction—meaning that their powers of investigation and arrest only extend to the boundaries of their jurisdiction. The higher level the investigating agency, the wider their jurisdiction. If a person commits murder, then promptly leaves the state, it complicates the search for authorities. In the most egregious cases, individuals might commit violence or murder and then flee the country beyond the reach of local police.

In the interest of ensuring their loved one’s case gets the attention it deserves, families of homicide victims commonly retain a private investigator in order to get a second pair of eyes on the case. Calling in a private investigator to work simultaneously with law enforcement in an unsolved homicide investigation ensures that there is no stone left unturned in the search for truth. The best results occur when police and private investigators work in tandem—police investigating the leads that are most appropriate to their skillsets and resources while private investigators pick up any slack. Private investigators typically only work on between 3-4 cases at a time. Through their licensure by the state, they have access to research databases on par with that of law enforcement in order to conduct background checks, witness location, and field investigations. Their autonomy is only limited by the states in which they are licensed. Private investigators who are licensed nationwide have the ability to follow a lead wherever it takes them—even if that lead goes out of the state where the homicide occurred. This means fewer dropped leads and an increased chance of success in bringing closure to a grieving family.

If your family needs help with an unsolved homicide investigation, reach out to Lauth Investigations International today at 317-951-1100 for a free consultation. Our team of private investigators is comprised of former military and law enforcement, and we carry a glowing A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Call today or visit us online at