CONCORD, N.H. (AP) – Police and relatives of apparent murder victims want lawmakers to create a cold cases unit to crack about 100 unsolved killings in the state.

Somersworth resident Ann Marie Gloddy-Ring, whose 13-year-old sister was murdered in 1971, told the House public safety committee during a hearing Tuesday that a cold cases squad could help grieving families.

“How would you feel if you went home tonight and someone you love (had been killed)?” said Gloddy-Ring, whose sister’s case remains unsolved. “Would you not want to keep speaking and fighting?”

Kelley Buchanan, of Peterborough, said she and her husband, David Buchanan, still mourn the death of his stepbrother Craig Lane, who was killed at age 17 in 1989. His case remains unsolved despite new DNA evidence.

Several current and former law enforcement officials, including retired Merrimack Detective Joseph Horak, spoke in favor of the cold cases bill.

Horak investigated the 1973 murders of Diane Compagna and Anne Psaradelis, both 15 when they were found dead in Candia, and he hasn’t stopped working the case. He’s written three books on the subject and still talks with potential witnesses.

He recalled a vow he made with Robert Baker, then chief of the Candia Police Department, shortly after the killings of the girls, who authorities said had been stabbed or strangled and left in the woods.

“We stood over their graves and said we would (solve) this case if it took a month, a year or a lifetime,” Horak said, adding that a cold cases unit could interview several witnesses, including a woman now living in California.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Peyton Hinkle, R-Merrimack, said federal stimulus money could fund the unit.

The state estimates the unit would cost more than $440,000 over the next two fiscal years. The unit would have two state police detectives, a paralegal and a lawyer from the attorney general’s office.

The four would work exclusively on cold cases. Currently, 12 state police investigators and city detectives work the cases when they have time.

The unit would dissolve after two years, unless the Legislature voted to continue funding.

Several detectives said the unit should remain active for at least four years because investigating cold cases often requires traveling to other states and doing painstaking analyses.

Don Nason, president of the New Hampshire League of Investigators, an association of licensed private detectives, said lawmakers should form a cold cases unit to protect the public.

“Offenders who do these things go on to do them again,” he said.


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