WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Investigators work hard to solve murder cases, but, sometimes the evidence dries up, and law enforcement run the risk of having a case go cold for days, months even years.
On Monday, KSN went in-depth into the number of cold cases in Wichita and Sedgwick County and, how investigators are working to close them. KSN continues to look into the challenges Wichita Police and the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office face when the clues go cold.
Right now, there are about 200 unsolved homicide cases in Wichita. In Sedgwick County, there are 15 cases that are considered cold.
For some, it’s been decades of wondering who is responsible for their loved ones deaths, for others the memories are still fresh as they continue to look for answers.
UNSOLVED MURDER: HASAN RAHMAN
November 26th, 2017, the day that April Hassan’s life changed forever. Her husband was found murdered in Wichita.
“He was working for Pizza Hut, and he’d gone out on a delivery and then had a second delivery and then just didn’t come back,” said Rahman.
Her husband, 26-year-old Hassan Rahman was shot to death, his body dumped in the trunk of his car in an east Wichita neighborhood.
Police have searched for his killer, but so far they’ve come up empty no arrests. It’s frustrating for Rahman’s widow:
“For someone to say something. Because, I know in my heart someone knows something,” said Rahman.
Police say the case is ongoing, but April fears the tips will dry up and, it will turn cold. For now, she’s left to explain to her kids what happened to their father.
“Every car that she sees that’s dark-colored she asks is that my daddy? She’ll crawl up in my lap and say I miss my daddy, when’s daddy coming home she doesn’t understand,” said Rahman.
Wichita police have hoped that a $10,000 reward offered through Crime Stoppers would lead to someone coming forward with information about the killer.
RELATED KSN.COM STORY | Pizza Hut delivery driver found dead in trunk of car
Captain Brent Allred with the Wichita Police Department explains how the public can help crack a cold case.
“We probably solve many cases from people within the community coming forward. They heard about something. They have some information on a name, vehicle description or something like that,” said Allred.
But, for other unsolved murders the memories of any potential witnesses have likely begun to fade.
COLD CASE: PATRICIA SMITH & PATRICIA MAGERS
On April 11, 1992, 23-year-old Patricia Smith and 32-year-old shop owner Patricia Magers were working late at the La Bride d’ Elegance bridal shop on East Kellogg waiting for a customer.
Police say the killer got there before the customer and shot the women execution style. No arrests were ever made.
Authorities believe the suspect was the so-called I-70 serial killer, who murdered 6 store employees during a crime spree in the Midwest in 1992.
Even with a witness description of a suspect, the murderer was never brought to justice.
RELATED LINK | La Bride shop murders
COLD CASE: JENNIFER WILSON
For Sedgwick County Investigators, the mysterious disappearance of Jennifer Wilson, who vanished in Derby on September 1, 2002 remains unsolved.
Sergeant Benjamin Blick with the Sheriff’s Office says the clues have been few in the case.
“She lived in a residence in the county with a friend of hers and she was just one time, they left the house or something claimed they came back and she wasn’t there no longer, and no one heard from her ever since,” said Blick
In 2016, investigators received new information that Wilson’s body could be found near where she used to live. Blick says they searched but still no signs of her body.
“Separate occasions and worked on it for several months and try to get additional leads in that case and we re-interviewed several of the people in that case, and unfortunately, we haven’t been able to come up with anything,” said Blick.
Wilson was declared legally dead in 2013.
RELATED KSN.COM STORY | Sedgwick County cold case on Jennifer Wilson reopened
COLD CASE: MELVIN CHILDRESS
October 17, 2001, the body of Melvin Deandre Childress was discovered in the area of 69th Street North and Woodlawn. His car was discovered at 800 North Ohio. Blick says a night of hanging out with friends ended with his murder.
“So, in a matter of an hour and a half he was expected home, thought he would be home and then he was not home later found dead,” said Blick.
Blick had hoped re-evaluating forensic, and DNA evidence could help in the Childress case.
“We picked it back up. Looked at the evidence that we found on the vehicle and resubmitted it to the forensic science center to see if we could get additional DNA profiles,” said Blick.
But Sgt. Blick says the forensic evidence sometimes just doesn’t provide what’s needed. It’s the help from the public that often cracks the case.
“A lot of times the publics interest in the case has waned and it becomes very difficult for older cases,” said Blick.
That’s exactly what April Rahman hopes doesn’t happen in her husband’s death. Now, less than three months since his death she hopes someone will come forward with any piece of information that can provide answers and put a killer behind bars.
“Even if it’s the smallest thing they had noticed that night was off that just stuck in their mind, cause even the tiniest thing could be the one little thing that leads them to who did this,” said Rahman.
Investigators say no tip is too small. Even if you think the information might not matter they want to hear from you. One small tip from a witness could close a cold case.