Unprocessed evidence could solve 26-year-old cold case - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Unprocessed evidence could solve 26-year-old cold case

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

For more than 26 years, Virginia James and her family have waited. 

"There's somebody that knows something," she said, "We just want to know if there is somebody still out there."

For a clue, a tip, something to help detectives figure out who killed her mother, Mena Richie, inside her Signal Hills neighborhood home in 1989. 

"It's hard every, every day. I get up thinking about her, I go to bed thinking about her," she added. 

That clue may lie in of the hundreds of bags of evidence recently discovered at the Hamilton County Medical Examiners Office. They include things like bullet fragments, fingernail clippings, hair and crime scene notes taken during autopsies from between the years of 1986 and 2002.

Read more | UPDATE: Bags of unprocessed evidence found at ME's office 

"I'm curious too. What's in those files?" James asked. 

Although it will take about a year for the District Attorney's office to sort through all the evidence, James is eager to find out if the clue to solving her mother's murder lies inside of these bags. 

"I would go and work at the police department and help. It would be difficult, but if I thought I could do something, I would do it," James said. 

Pinkston said it's possible the untested evidence could also be used to exonerate someone.

Any defendant convicted of a homicide between 1986 and 2002 who wants to know if his or her case has unprocessed evidence is asked to call Pinkston's office at 423-209-7400. 

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