Department of Public Safety spearheads initiative for new cold case database

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – A new cold case database, funded by the Department of Public Safety (DPS), will compile information from cold cases, older than three years, from all law enforcement agencies in Utah.

“We hope it will bring an ending in unsolved crimes that have been waiting for years and years,” said DPS Commissioner Jess Anderson.

DPS officials reported approximately 400 cold cases in the state including homicides, missing persons and unidentified deceased persons. The database will make communication between law enforcement agencies faster and more efficient. It will also ensure information doesn’t get lost in transition.

“As investigators move on and leave their agency, sometimes those cases get put in a box and off to the side and it’s not anybody’s fault. This will ensure that those cases are not forgotten,” said DPS Chief Brian Redd.

During Utah’s 2018 legislative session, lawmakers passed Senate Bill 160, which requires all law enforcement agencies in the state to enter cold cases and missing persons cases that have remained unsolved for three years into the database.  

“I have passed and sponsored over a hundred bills and I can count on one hand how many of those bills will matter 30 years from now, 50 years from now, 100 years after I’m gone. This is one of those bills,” said Senator Todd Weiler.

After months of trial and error, the new cold case database is ready to launch.

DPS is spearheading the effort by providing nearly $200,000 in funding for the creation of the database and hiring Kathy Mackay as a full-time cold case analyst. 

The divisions supporting the database and its goal of bringing justice to victims and their families are:

  • Department’s Crime Lab, State Bureau of Investigation (SBI)
  • State Information and Analysis Center (SIAC)
  • Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI)

The public will also be able to access information in the new cold case database. For more information or to submit tips, click here ( or call 833-DPS-SAFE.

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