Detroit police hold memorial service for families of unsolved murder victims

Detroit police held a memorial service was held for missing people who have never been found. Families of victims of unsolved crimes came face-to-face with Chief James White-- in hopes of getting some answers.

"Although they’re gone we must be the voice for them," said one woman.

The tears flowed at the service for Missing Persons and Cold Cases held Friday.

White said it continues a critical mission

"We don’t want any case to go cold, we want all cases to be solved," he said.

The memorial service took place as families of victims lined up to speak to the chief about their unsolved cases during a Q-and-A lecture held at Wayne County Community College District.

"I’m the parent of a child who was murdered, it was a triple homicide," said one woman. "I called I left numerous messages I got no calls back. I don’t see how three people lose their life and no one is being held for this."

"Let me get into that," White said.

The police chief made it clear his department has not given up on these open cases.

"I’ve expanded our cold case unit to relook at some cases," he said. "And we are going to be continually adding capacity to that unit, so that we can solve those difficult cases."

The expansion comes as police tell FOX 2 that the city’s homicide numbers for this year are 112 as of June 9th, which is up once from this same time last year.

"Annually we look at crime stats year to date so if a case is open beyond that first year it happens it’s not recounted next year as a homicide. but as an open case we continuously count all open cases

But Chief White says his success rate is about more than numbers.

"We’ve been very successful in case closures," he said. "But the goal isn’t to measure your success by how many murders you close. We measure our success by how many murders don’t happen."

But these families just want answers.

"We need help." said Minister Malik Shabazz. "We want to restart our street patrols. We need men and women who know how to be eyes and ears."

The police chief makes it clear solving cases takes more than police it takes a village.

"No case is off our radar even if it goes cold," White said. "If there is new information that you have, you can call Crime Stoppers, you can remain anonymous. If you have other information contact our homicide section."

To contact Crime Stoppers call 1-800-SPEAK-UP and the non-emergency Detroit police number for tips is (313) 267-4600.