Curry College’s Forensic Science Program and Training Center is teaming up with the Cold Case Investigative Research Institute based in Georgia. The nonprofit institute works with experts and college programs to help them assist families and law enforcement with unsolved homicides, missing persons, and kidnapping cases. Students in Professor Jim Jabbour’s Advanced Investigations class began working on their first assigned cold case late last spring.
The case the Curry team is working on is 17 years old and involves the suspicious death of a woman. The Institute sent initial information for the students to work with, and after they came up with some leads to pursue, they submitted a preliminary report to the Institute requesting additional information.
“After they sent us more information based on what we requested, we considered those leads and moved on to the next phase of the inquiry looking at more photographs, re-interviewing people involved and/or people of interest. We hope that we're able to come up with information and leads that will help to identify additional pieces of evidence and persons of interest as well”, said Professor Jabbour.
In addition to other information, photos, timelines, and sketches obtained from the Institute and developed by the students, students do their own computer research as well. Students must also maintain the confidentiality of case information. In February, the class had “a phone conversation with the director of the Cold Case Institute who provided more information and indicated we were ‘right on track’ with our thoughts and courses of action,” said Professor Jabbour.
Recently, Curry’s Forensic Science Program and Training Center also became a regional contact for the National Missing and Unidentified Persons Investigative System. A collaboration is also in the application stages with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Professor Jabbour’s intention is to also assign some of these projects to his 3rd and 4th year students.