- THE CRIME OF MURDER
- AN ARREST IS MADE
- NO ARREST AT THE SCENE
- REFERRAL TO DISTRICT ATTORNEY
- “COLD CASE” STATUS
A homicide (killing) becomes the crime of murder when the killing is willful and deliberate. Police/ sheriff’s department takes control. An incident report is prepared and given a case number. All other reports prepared are called supplementals. The Incident Report is public record – supplemental reports are not while the case is open.
If an offender is at the scene an arrest is made and the offender is charged with the crime.
If the offender is not on scene, identification and whereabouts must be determined. An investigation is begun – a murder investigation can be complex and time-consuming. Detectives prepare supplemental reports – these reports and/or the information is not public record.
A case detective is assigned to the case (one of many cases assigned at the same time). The case detective may keep in contact with the family, but case information developed during an investigation cannot be shared with family or witnesses.
Police departments may have victim advocates to help with contacts with the family. This victim advocate may begin the process of filing for reparations.
When the investigation determines the identity of the suspect, the DA’s office is consulted, an arrest warrant is issued, and the suspect is arrest and charged. The next phase is with the District Attorney’s office.
If no offender is identified, the case stays active for some period to time but then may become a “Cold Case”. The case can be reopened if new information is learned or developed – cases as old as 20+ years have been re-opened base on new info and arrests can be made.