LITTLETON, Colo. (CBS4) – Families connected to dozens of Colorado cold cases gathered in a Jefferson County park over the weekend to with a goal of keeping hope alive.
On Sunday the group gathered at Clement Park and marched around a lake. They are hoping to spread awareness about the value of sharing helpful information with police and helping get justice served.
“There’s plenty of people that know (who’s responsible) and those people who know are just as guilty,” said Josephine Baez, who is part of the group Families of Homicide Victims and Missing Persons. Sunday’s gathering was the first of what is slated to be an annual meeting of the group.
Baez’s son Marcus Mason was killed in Denver on July 22, 2007. Mason was 17 and was shot three times in the head by an apparent stranger.
“It drives you crazy not knowing,” Baez said.
Families of Homicide Victims and Missing Persons, or FOHVAMP, has created a website that displays a database of unsolved murders. The goal is to easily connect anyone who might have information investigators might find helpful with the appropriate detectives who will be able to act on any new tips.
Jorge Rodriquez was killed in Adams County 10 years ago. His stepdaughter Stephanie Cummins told CBS4 on Sunday her persistence in asking police about DNA samples helped solve the case.
“Did you ever give up hope?” CBS4’s Howard Nathan asked Cummins. “No. I still have two other cases. I never give up hope.”
The deaths of Wesley Cummins, her brother and Ronnie Griego, a cousin, remain unsolved as well.
Michael Reichert was beaten to death in Denver on Oct. 9, 2000, and the case remains unsolved.
“He was bludgeoned, and it’s not clear whether he knew it was coming or not,” said his brother Mark. Mark said on Sunday he wants to go a step further than the FOVAMP database and create a public push to analyze evidence.
“Process all of our backlogged DNA,” he said. “Because by doing that we will solve not just more murders but more crimes altogether.”
According to FOHVAMP, Colorado has a backlog of roughly 1,700 unsolved murders dating back to 1970.
More information about cold cases in Colorado can be found on the Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s Cold Case Files website.