AGs cold case unit close to announcing breaks in two unsolved homicides

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Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha testifies before the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday, May 7, 2024. (Screenshot/Capitol TV)

The Rhode Island Office of Attorney General’s newly formed cold case unit has “effectively solved” two unsolved homicides in the state and is close to making announcements about the status of the investigations.

That’s according to Attorney General Peter Neronha in his testimony before the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday afternoon at the State House.

The cold case unit with four investigators and a prosecutor led by Assistant Attorney General James R. Baum, deputy chief of the office’s Criminal Division, formed last year after the General Assembly agreed to fully fund the $350,000 Neronha had requested for it in the fiscal 2024 budget. Gov. Dan McKee had rejected that request in the recommended budget he had presented to the General Assembly.

“That team working with local departments has effectively solved two cold case homicides,” Neronha told legislators Tuesday. “The last work in terms of those cases is being done and I expect sometime in the next month to six weeks to be able to report to the public and the families in those respective cases our findings in those cases.”

The committee was hearing testimony on the revised $46.6 million fiscal year 2024 and $45.5 million fiscal 2025 budgets for the Attorney General’s office.

Until the unit formed, Rhode Island lacked coordination between prosecutors, and law enforcement agencies in investigating unsolved homicides and missing person cases. Attorneys general in Maine, New Hampshire, and Connecticut have units dedicated to investigating cold cases. Last year, Neronha had estimated that the number of cold cases in Rhode Island was in the hundreds, but no one was tracking how many there were.

The post AGs cold case unit close to announcing breaks in two unsolved homicides appeared first on Rhode Island Current.