Cold Case Task Force will take on unsolved murders in Bradley, M - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Cold Case Task Force will take on unsolved murders in Bradley, McMinn and Polk Co.

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BRADLEY COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

A newly-formed cold case task force will be taking a second look at dozens of unsolved murders in Bradley, Polk and McMinn counties.

The lead investigator of the new unit said there's already four unsolved murders in the area that he believes his team can crack. 

"We're going to never stop looking for someone that committed a murder, it's just not going to happen, law enforcement isn't going to stop looking for them," said Criminal Investigator Calvin Rockholt. 

More than 40 unsolved murder cases will now have the chance for closure. Rockholt will lead a team of about a dozen investigators in a newly formed cold case task force.

One week ago, accused murdered Donnie Brantley was arraigned for a crime police say happened seven years ago. Brantley is charged with 1st degree murder in the 2009 death of his wife, Marsha Brantley. 

District Attorney Stephen Crump hopes to see more of that in Bradley, Polk and McMinn counties.

"There are 40 or 41 cases we're in a position right now and out of that 40 we'll start with 8," he said.

The team also will be responsible for handling backlogged rape kits and prosecuting those cases if a DNA match is found.
    
Crump said taking a second look at a case that's gone cold has it challenges, "Certainly witnesses forget, evidence can be lost, people can die."

But also, it comes with hope for better outcome.

"But on the flip side technology improves and investigative techniques improve and things change over a period of time," Crump said.

The earliest cold case out of the 10th Judicial District dates back to 1957.
    
With help from the community investigators said even the oldest cases can have a fresh start.

Shortly after the new year a new website will be launched giving all of the details of the Cold Case Task Force as well as an anonymous tip line in case you have any information you'd like to share. 

The cold case unit will serve four counties in the 10th Judicial District, three of which are in the Channel 3 viewing area. 

Bradley, McMinn, Monroe, and Polk county will each have cold cases re-opened. Investigators want each of those counties to have at least two cold cases open for investigation at all times. 
   
That makes a total of eight cases being investigated at the same time.
 

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