BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Mary Ann Farve was kidnapped from Bay St. Louis and murdered 41 years ago. Thirty two years ago, a man who has never been identified was found murdered in Jackson County, and 20 years ago, Angela Williams vanished from Harrison County. These South Mississippi cases have one thing in common: They have all gone cold.
"In law enforcement and in forensic science, we are giving the victim a voice," Mississippi Division of International Association for Identification and Biloxi police Investigator George Chaix said.
This week, around 50 investigators, crime lab employees and coroners from across the state are in Biloxi, learning about new technology and tools available to them that could help solve cold cases.
"Technology is constantly changing," Chaix said. "If you look back in history in the 70s and 80s, DNA wasn't even used. It's common place now."
Another tool that is helping solve cases on a daily basis is the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NAMUS).
"It's a case repository where investigators can put their information in, dental records, fingerprints, DNA and data of the missing person," NAMUS Regional Administrator Michael Nance said.
Anyone can look at NAMUS. In fact, many cases are being solved with help from everyday citizens.
"We had a citizen match a Mississippi case to a homicide case in Pennsylvania and was able to identify that individual," Nance said.
NAMUS also offers a variety of normally expensive resources free of charge to investigators. With tools like this and technology what it is, investigators have a better chance than ever to get justice for victims and their loved ones.
"We as investigators need to take advantage of those changes, capitalize on them, so that we can resolve some of these old homicide cases," Chaix said.
The cold case conference is being put on by the Mississippi Division of the International Association of Identification.