Cold cases are those crimes and accidents that haven’t really been solved—at least not completely—and also have not been investigated recently. Law enforcement is just sort of waiting to see if any new information emerges or if technological advancements make it so existing evidence to be studied in a more effective fashion. After a significant period of time, while a cold case may technically be “open”, it is more or less believed that it will never be solved.
Of course, to the surprise of everyone involved, a case that has been cold for ages will occasionally be solved. Here are eight examples of cases that no one ever really expected to be solved, but actually were:
1. The case of the missing sisters
In 1985, two sisters disappeared from their Rhode Island home. Kelly Yates was only 10 months old, and her older sister Kimberly was three.
The case was even featured on the American television program America’s Most Wanted. Unsurprisingly, law enforcement received tips from all over the United States.
The girls were kidnapped by their mother, Elaine, who had allegedly been unfaithful to the girls’ father, which resulted in a serious argument. The father, Russell, admitted that he punched Elaine during the argument. Shortly thereafter, his daughter and wife disappeared.
In January of 2017, Elaine Yates—who was using an alias for years—was arrested after an anonymous tip led law enforcement to the location of the Yates women.
It is a sad story, to be sure; Russell missed decades of his daughters’ lives; the good news is that both Kelly and Kimberley—who are now both in their 30’s—are alive and well.
To his credit, Russell Yates has no interest in seeing Elaine prosecuted for what she did over thirty years ago.
H/T – Source
2. The case of the missing mother
In 1971, a 15-year-old girl from Australia named Tamara Milograd attended the Royal Melbourne Show. Tragically, she never returned from the show. Her family, located southwest of Melbourne, never stopped looking for the missing girl.
For whatever reason, Tamara moved to Victoria and changed her name and age; for years of her life, she went by Pauline Tammy Russell. She perished in 1976 as the result of a car accident, but not before having two children.
One of those children, Corrina Russell, noticed “Tamara’s” photo on a website for the National Missing Persons center and got the feeling Tamara was her mother. Her hunch was correct!
While Tamara’s mother—now over 90—will never see her daughter again and has had to face the fact Tamara is gone from this earth, she can be comforted by the fact she has a granddaughter and grandson, as well as great-grandchildren. She reportedly has relationships with all of them.
H/T – Source
3. The case of the McStay family
In February of 2010, it seemed as if the McStay family of San Diego, California had simply disappeared. Joseph, Summer, and their two little boys seemed to vanish from their home, but there was no sign of a struggle of any sort. Joseph was a manager at a company that builds fountains, and Summer was employed in real estate.
The disappearance of the family was featured on American television programs Unsolved Mysteries and America’s Most Wanted.
For years, no one knew what happened to the McStay family. It was truly a cold case. Naturally, the family members and friends of the family attempted to reach out and contact them, but they were unsuccessful.
Sadly, this story does not have a happy ending. On November 11th of 2013, the family’s remains were found by a motorcyclist in two unmarked, shallow graves in a desert southwest of San Bernardino County, California.
A business associate of Joseph—Chase Merrit—is most likely responsible for the murders. His DNA was found in their car, and Merrit has been alleged to have killed the family with a sledgehammer in order to make money to pay for his gambling habit. His trial will likely commence in February of 2018.
H/T – Source
4. The case of Mary Agnes Klinsky
For over 50 years, the murder of Mary Agnes Klinsky was a true mystery, and the case was cold. She died in 1965, and her family didn’t know who killed her for a half of a century. Her body was found in a park off of New Jersey’s Garden State Parkway. In addition to having been beaten to death, Klinsky had been raped.
The case of Klinsky didn’t stay cold forever due to to technological advancements in the amplification and detection of DNA. Evidence was reexamined, and it was concluded that Klinsky was killed by suspected serial killer Robery Zarinsky. A convicted killer, Zarinsky died in November of 2008 while in prison waiting to stand trial for the 1968 murder of a 13-year-old girl. He had been in prison as punishment for the 1969 disappearance and death of a 17-year-old girl; that girl’s body was never recovered.
H/T – Source