Rep. Keeley: Justice and Cold Cases

The following letter to the editor appeared in the November 25th edition of the (Wilmington) News Journal.

By Rep. Helene M. Keeley

When a crime is committed in our community that results in a needless death, we think about our safety and that of our children, but the pain is always deepest for the family and loved ones closest to the victim. Sometimes, when the case for justice goes cold, their suffering can last for years or decades.

Recognizing the depth of that pain, Wilmington Police worked to establish a cold case team in 2010 under the leadership of investigator Robert Partlow and a group retired detectives who volunteered to help families find peace. In 2011, the team approached me and other state officials with a small funding request that would allow them to test DNA from cold cases. With the help of the Department of Safety and Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Social Services, we were able to secure this funding. This year, I’m proud to say we made this support permanent.

The recent arrest in the 2008 murder of Jerome Green is a prime example of how this small amount of funding is winning justice for victims. The Nov. 7 News Journal story by Jen Rini showed us the despair of Jerome Green’s loved ones, and the relief they felt when his case was solved.

It is my hope that the state can do more to bolster our cold case investigators across Delaware, and bring new hope to those who may have thought that their loved one’s death would go unaccounted for.