Amarillo Police Department’s newest unit aims to solve cold case homicides

VIDEO - Amarillo Police Department’s newest unit aims to solve cold case homicides
Published: Dec. 29, 2022 at 6:31 AM CST
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - The Amarillo Police Department is starting a Cold Case Investigation Unit.

The newly designed unit will focus on solving murder cases that weren’t originally solved.

“Somebody lost their life so it’s the most important investigation,” said Sgt. Carla Burr, Crime Prevention, Amarillo Police Department.

Amarillo has 49 unsolved homicides dating back to the 1950s and the department’s goal is to reduce that number and bring justice for the families and friends of victims.

“The investigators in the past, outstanding, but my mindset is when I start going through the case file is they missed something and I’m going to find it,” said Jimmy Rifenberg the head investigator of the cold case unit for the Amarillo Police Department.

Evolving technology has played a huge part in the construction of the cold case unit making it possible to find new evidence in these cases.

“It plays a pretty big part because it gives us an advantage now. It gives us an edge now that we didn’t have back in the day,” said Rifenberg. “That’s going to be a pretty good boost for us.”

Rifenberg is a fingerprint expert, shooting reconstruction expert, and blood stain analysis expert and he says that these skills will help him to solve more cases.

Another part that the unit will benefit from is reinterviewing witnesses and suspects to gain new information.

“Something that they might think is not important, maybe the piece that solves the case,” said Rifenberg. “If they’ve got any information anything or they saw something that they remember, please call me and let me know because that it can be a game changer.”

Amarillo Police are asking for your help now, if you have any information about any cold cases, call (806) 378-9446.

“If anybody has any information, whether they think it doesn’t matter or it’s not important, call me and let me know,” said Rifenberg. “The public is so important. The people that are involved in those cases, family-wise, friend-wise, when things happen like that they don’t usually forget.”

If you wish to remain anonymous, call Amarillo Crime Stoppers at 806-374-4400.