New unit revisits cold cases - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

New unit revisits cold cases

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TUSCALOOSA - AL -

     Since 2009, Jerry Barger's lived a nightmare, wondering who shot and killed his daughter, April.  she was leaving her mobile home on Buttermilk Road.  Someone pulled up, opened fire and left April for dead.

"Every morning and every night I wake up I wish myself -- I knew who did it," says Barger.

     Cases, like April's --where investigations hit a road block may be reopened.  Tuscaloosa's Metro Homicide Office has started a new three-man 'Cold Case' unit.

 "They will not be on the rotation with the other officers. Their primary focus will be on existing unsolved cases."

     Captain Loyd Baker says before now, his department only had eight investigators handling 650-new cases a year.  The old cases often get put on the back burner.

      Now, that dedicated cold-case team will look at those unsolved homicides.

      "They're going to be trying to determine the solvability of each case...meaning is there evidence there that could be tested that may bring about DNA now that it wouldn't several years ago. Are there witnesses that were uncooperative in the past that may be cooperative now."

       And now, the families of some victims like the Bargers have hope once again -- they may eventually get answers.

       "Glad they're doing that...because its cases like that need to be solved. We need to get the murderers off the streets -- people that kill in cold Blood. They shot my daughter nine times."