Investigators work together to try and solve cold cases - - The News for South Mississippi

Investigators work together to try and solve cold cases


It was 1973 when 13-year-old Rose Marie Levandoski was kidnapped from school in Harrison County. Just two years later, 16-year-old Janie Sanders was kidnapped walking home from school in Pascagoula. Both teens were later found dead and no one has ever served time for their murders.

While investigators do not know if these cases are connected, they do know there are similarities.

"We know that criminals will cross county lines for sure," Pascagoula Detective Darren Versiga said, "and sometimes, because of our distances, we don't have all the information where a crime has been committed in say Biloxi, may not get to Jackson County."

The Harrison County Sheriff's Department hosts meetings once every other month for investigators to talk about cases and share resources.

"We do this every so often to develop these similarities because there are a lot of similarities in these cases," Harrison County Sgt. Coley Judy said.

Detectives with six different agencies have been coming to the meetings and the goal is to get even more involved.

"It's just a whole lot better atmosphere when you have everybody on board and don't just have one agency working different cases," Versiga said. "You have bunch of agencies pulling together. They have different contacts and all those contacts ultimately help each one of law enforcers perform our job."

With new suspects to look at and new evidence to investigate, these men and women are hopeful they can close some cases.

"We want to find closure for these victims' families," Sgt. Judy said.

Investigators also want killers off the streets and behind bars.

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