GEORGIA (WRBL)— The Georgia Bureau of Investigation started their Cold Case Unit just two years ago in December of 2020. Director of the GBI Vic Reynolds started a similar unit in Cobb County when serving as the District Attorney.
“I learned as the elected District Attorney of Cobb County that families, even to begin a closure process,” Reynolds says. “You have to know number one, what happened to my loved one? Number two, who did this to my loved one?”
Reynolds also shares the unit is a collaborative effort between active special agents, and retired agents who are solely dedicated to solving that singular cold case.
“What we wanted to do is to bring those fresh set of eyes to begin picking that case up and looking only at that cold case. Not having an active agent who has to go respond to another call out, but only focusing on that cold case because I’m convinced in seeing the number of cold cases that I’ve seen over the years, that’s the only way to solve them,” he explains.
When deciding which cases to take on that are presented by the counties across Georgia, Reynolds says there are key components they look for, was evidence looked over? Are they able to do newer DNA testing, are there still witnesses around to be interviewed? Reynolds says technological advancements have played a huge role in solving cold cases, that paired with the dedication of the agents is a formula for success.
“I think it speaks volumes about what the staff is all about. You know, when you have retired GBI folks who come back to us and say, ‘I not only want to work on this cold case unit, I want to work on this case, because that was a case that when I left, it stayed with me. I never forgot it. I believe it’s solvable. I believe if we spend some time on this, we can figure out what happened to this person who’s responsible for it’ and to me, that just in essence, that’s what a cold case unit ought to be,” he shares.
Reynolds also says this unit works tirelessly to give answers to the family’s affected by these tragedies. He said, “the reality is we do all of this for the victims and the victims families.”
One of the first cases taken on by the GBI’s Cold Case Unit was the disappearance and murder of Fort Benning Soldier in Chattahoochee County. More on that case can be found here.