REDDING, Calif. — Most people's daily routine involves social media in one way or another. By reaching more people in a quicker manner, Redding police are taking advantage of social media outlets to potentially solve high profile cases.
"I think the more information we can put out to the public on the cases where perhaps it became stale or we don’t have a lot of information will help," Captain Eric Wallace with the Redding Police Department said.
He added some people may have information that they do not think is pertinent to the case but it may be something that breaks it open.
The Redding Police Department says the more people they can reach, the better and that's what social media is allowing them to do.
Recently, RPD has been posting cold cases to their Facebook page, some cases dating back to 1994 when investigators took on a double murder that occurred on Lema Road in Redding.
Maria Mayon, 20, and Daniel Sullivan, 41, were found dead inside of a home and investigators have conducted numerous in-depth interviews since. However, this case, along with many others eventually went cold.
Captain Wallace says putting the information out again about this case is another step closer to the possibility of closure and reminds the community that they are still looking for witness information, evidence, anything that will provide them with answers.
"A lot of cases that we ultimately are able to solve generally come from information from witnesses and physical evidence," Captain Wallace says.
The advancement of DNA technology also plays a very critical role for piecing some of these cases together.
There are currently seven cold cases being investigated by RPD. Each cold case remains open.
Captain Wallace says each case retains the same priority to be solved but investigators will focus on those that perhaps have the most "workable leads" or a new piece of evidence that comes about such as witness information or an advancement in any type of video enhancement or DNA.
Cold cases are assigned to an investigator and that investigator is required to stay up on that case and go through the case evidence and case file. In order to put new eyes on a case, RPD will change investigators periodically, which Captain Wallace says has helped solve high profile cases. But ultimately, he says RPD relies on the community to trust them.
"Even with all of our technology, often times it comes down to working with the community and having them trust us enough to communicate with us and give us bits of information," Captain Wallace said. "The family will never forget. They were victimized. They lost loved ones. We never forget. We'll never stop until we solve these cases."
Captain Wallace says those seven cases are always fresh in the minds of investigators, even if they are over thirty years old. He says their social media posts are a way to remind the community that any bits of information they remember may help, even if it doesn't seem relevant at the time.
"It means something to know we’re still trying because we are still trying and putting it on social media and any other media that we can, that’s ideally what will probably break these cases open, as well as technology," Captain Wallace said.
He added resources the department is able to gain such as funding for new technology is an imperative piece to solving high profile cases, along with the department's top investigative team, made up of 14 investigators.
Anyone with information related to a cold case is urged to contact the Redding Police Department at (530) 225-4200, Shasta County Secret Witness at (530) 243-2319 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.