DENVER (CBS4)– An elite group of investigators will re-open a cold case in Denver that has never been solved.

Polly Sullivan was murdered in Denver’s Lowry area in 1998.

“She was a very innocent person,” said Linda Gruno, Polly’s sister.

Gruno wrote a letter to The Vidocq Society asking for their help. Gruno said Polly dedicated her life to others.

“She did a lot of work that she was never paid for,” said Gruno. “She believed everyone deserves a second chance.”

Although there was an arrest in Polly’s murder there wasn’t enough evidence and police had no choice but to let the suspect go.

That’s when Gruno found a book in the library about The Vidocq Society and wrote them a letter about Polly.

“It was about a group that does nothing but solve cold cases pro bono,” said Gruno. “I thought, wow, this is a real book. This is about real people.”

She asked if they would take her sister’s case and they agreed. The organization doesn’t accept many cases.

Denver Police Lt. Matt Murray made the presentation to The Vidocq Society in Philadelphia. He was the original detective on the case in 1998.

“Just at the table I sat at there was a retired U.S. Attorney and one of the top investigators for NCIS,” said Murray. “Because of their experience and their knowledge they offer insight and knowledge so that you can then pursue those leads and go in a different direction.”

“She wouldn’t give up on me, ever. So I’m not going to give up on her,” said Gruno.

The Vidocq Society was founded in 1990. Philadelphia’s second-in-command U.S. Customs Service Special Agent, a well-known forensic sculptor from Philadelphia, and a prison psychologist from Michigan were the first members.

Eugène François Vidocq was an 18th century French crook-turned-cop who was a confidant of at least two famous contemporary French writers and an inspiration for many others around the world.

Vidocq is considered by historians and those in law enforcement to be the father of modern criminal investigation. His personal character, coupled with his skills as an investigator, are the source of The Vidocq Society’s inspiration for solving crime and helping others.


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