Report A Crime
Our Organization
Our Response Areas
For Your Safety
Our Newsroom
Print this PageSite Feedback
Homicide Cold Case Unit
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has approximately 500 open homicide cases dating back to 1970. Each of these cases represents a victim and their families who are still waiting for closure and justice. A big concern for families is that a case has been forgotten. Detectives working older cases find that relationships change, fear of cooperation dissipates, and people who were initially uncooperative can become your best witnesses. Previously processed evidence can be reprocessed using the latest techniques and provide new clues to a killer's identity. With the belief that all victims need closure the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department formed a cold case unit in April of 2003.  

    The Homicide Cold Case Unit consists of two full time homicide detectives, an FBI agent, a six person civilian review team, and two civilian volunteers. The review team is comprised of four retired FBI agents, a retired NYPD Captain, and a UNC-Charlotte professor. Initially, a case is assigned to a civilian review team member. That team member will read over the case file and identify any leads that need to be followed. They will also organize the paperwork and provide the detectives with a detailed summary of the available information from the case. This review and organization of the case information saves the detective valuable time. Subsequently, the detective can immediately begin working on the relevant leads.

The Homicide Cold Case Unit relies heavily on the dedicated efforts of the civilian volunteers that work tirelessly and give freely of their time. Harvey Katowitz (Retired NYPD Captain), James Zopp (Retired FBI Agent), Brendan Battle (Retired FBI Agent), Danny Caylor (Retired FBI Agent), Ray Bowley (Retired FBI Agent), Dr. Vivian Lord (UNCC Professor), John Lambert (Retired Duke Energy Engineer), and Pete Dingee (Retired Greenburg, New York Police Officer) are owed a great deal of appreciation for the success of the Charlotte–Mecklenburg Police Department's Homicide Cold Case Unit. With their dedication plus the hard work and experience of our homicide detectives, over 100 cases have been reviewed and 26 cases have been cleared.

Please review the Highlighted Cold Case Investigations for 2015​​ and the Unsolved Cold Cases from the past couple of years which our detectives are currently seeking additional information. Anyone having information on a cold case is asked to contact one of the detectives or the agent listed below. You may also contact the Homicide Cold Case Hotline:

 Sgt. S. Manassah

 Det. David Phillips704-336-7690
 Det. D. Osorio704-336-5048
 Det. P. Rainwater704-353-0452
 Agent Ernie Mathis704-336-2364



Awards and Honors

  • On May 30, 2008 the volunteer members of the Cold Case Unit were presented with the Department of Justice Citizen Volunteer Service Award by the U. S. Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey in Washington, D.C.

  • On May 14, 2008, the Cold Case Unit received the Chief's Unit Citation during National Police Week.

  • On April 29, 2008, the Cold Case Unit was nominated for the 2008 Volunteer Unit of the Year Award during the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department's Volunteer Appreciation Banquet.

  • On April 15, 2008, the Cold Case Unit was chosen as one of the top 50 nominees from over 1000 nominations for Innovations in American Government Award presented by Harvard Kennedy School's Ash Institute.

  • In September 2005, the Cold Case Unit was the 1st runner-up for the IACP Choicepoint Award for Excellence in Criminal Investigation.

  • In February 2005, the Cold Case Unit was featured in a magazine article by Dr. Vivian Lord, UNCC Professor and civilian review team member, in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin.