BCI to bolster cold-case aid for local police

The Columbus Dispatch | Dean Narciso

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation has shared its experts with local police agencies since the 1960s, assisting at crime scenes, analyzing skeletal remains and, more recently, conducting genetic analysis at its Madison County headquarters.

The agency, part of Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s office, is now taking a more-proactive role, in part to help victims of violent crime heal.

“It’s about those cases that haunt you,” said Yost. “You want to get justice for the families, for society.”

Instead of waiting to be called, BCI is reaching out to local cold-case police units to offer assistance with cases of homicide, rape and other violent crimes — those that have long statutes of limitations.

Yost, a former Delaware County prosecutor, recalled how the Columbus police cold-case unit helped establish a motive in the 2002 capital-murder case he oversaw against Gerald Hand in the death of his fourth wife, Jill Hand, 58, and of an accomplice, Walter Welch, 55, at Hand’s Genoa Township home.

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