UPDATE: New cold case task force formed for Bradley, McMinn, Monroe and Polk Counties
The the task force will focus on unsolved homicides, missing persons, unidentified remains, serial cases & backlogged rape kit cases.
UPDATE: A new cold case task force taking shape in the 10th judicial district, Wednesday they announced the first cases it will investigate.
District Attorney Stephen Crump said the new cold case task force will focus on unsolved crimes across four counties to bring justice to the victims and their families. The district encompasses Bradley, McMinn, Monroe and Polk counties.
The task force chose to tackle nine cases first. One of those is the 1999 Valentine’s Day triple murder in Bradley County, which Channel 3 reported on extensively throughout the years.
Three people were killed in a violent murder at a Cleveland apartment, detectives said intruders shot and killed them at point-blank range.
Years went by and still no answers for the families involved. Then a decade later, Maurice Johnson was convicted for his involvement. However, investigators say he didn't act alone and believe other suspects are still out there.
The 1999 Valentine ’s Day triple murder case went cold, now it's one of nine cases they'll re-open. Greg Kaylor is a former crime reporter and now a member of district 10's cold case task force. Kaylor followed the case extensively and said over the years the triple homicide case became complex.
"Throughout the time there's been many many twist and turns in the investigation which led to Sweetwater then here to Cleveland,” Kaylor explained.
The task force has been in the works since 2014. It will focus on unsolved homicides, missing persons, unidentified remains, serial cases and backlogged rape kit cases. Crump said nearly 60 cases fall under this category.
He isn't sure about a timeline, but hopes families know their loved ones have not been forgotten.
"It's very much more about taking a case a part very slowly and very painstakingly, taking the evidence piece by piece figuring out what does it mean? How can it be retested? If it has been tested or haven't been tested and what can we do with it that might give us that one clue,” Crump said.
A new website, tncoldcase10.com, outlines the existing cases and the team members.
Stay with Channel 3 and WRCBtv.com for more on this developing story.