The Washington County District Attorney's Office, in partnership with the Washington County Sheriff's Office, has launched a new cold case unit to investigate violent crime cold cases.  This unit is possible because in 2020 this office secured grant funding from the federal government to investigate and prosecute violent crime cold cases that involve identified DNA associated with a possible suspect. The grant, “Prosecuting Cold Cases Using DNA,” is funded by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance. 

This office recently conducted a review of its cold case homicides to identify their potential to be prosecuted with additional investigation.  A cold case is defined as a case three or more years old that is not under active investigation. Of the 43 identified homicide cases dating back to 1968, at least 14 contain DNA evidence. Additionally, there are potentially hundreds of unsolved sexual assault cases over the decades that also contain DNA evidence.  Previously, there have been no detectives available to exclusively investigate violent crime cold cases in Washington County. This grant will allow additional resources and modern forensic tools to be used to further investigate these cases. 

Detective Kevin Winfield has been hired to lead these efforts.  He will work alongside a forensic consultant to investigate violent crime cold cases in Washington County.  This office is confident many of these cases can be solved, the victims associated with them can receive the justice they deserve, the community at large can receive a sense of resolution and those who committed these crimes can finally be held responsible.

If you have any information that can help, contact Detective Winfield at 503-846-8671 or visit the Washington County District Attorney’s Office website for information on how to submit tips for the investigations.