Expert says outside groups could help solve Memphis cold cases

Published: Jul. 22, 2018 at 5:33 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 22, 2018 at 10:45 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A burglary gone bad is how investigators describe what happened to Andre Jones.

In June 2016, police said the 46-year-old church deacon was shot and killed by a pair of home burglars he caught in the act.

Two years later, the case remains unsolved, along with a growing list of cold cases in the Memphis area.

"It's sad because a lot of families don't have answers and I know that and I don't have the answers, but I know what we can do as a community to help it, to make it better," said Jim Adcock.

Adcock is a retired military criminal investigator, author, and founder of the Mid-South Cold Case Initiative, which aims to help law enforcement solve cold cases.

"Law enforcement today is about today and tomorrow," said Adcock. "Very little is about the past."

Adcock estimates that over 1,500 cold cases, going back to 1980, remain unsolved in Memphis alone.

He said MPD's struggle to retain officers in recent years didn't help.

On top of that, he said it's common for detectives to spend 60 percent of their time on paperwork.

"It's not because they don't know what they're doing. It's because they've got too many cases. They don't have enough people," explained Adcock.

Adcock believes a dedicated cold case unit would help law enforcement agencies with a lot of investigations to solve.

He said MPD should bring in outside groups, including grad students and professors, to help.

He said cities like Charlotte and Tulsa, and the Mississippi State Police have similar programs, which have been successful.

"These people help take care of all this administrative work that these detectives now don't have to do and it gives them more time, and they help them get these cases in line first for investigation and then solved," said Adcock.

Adcock's suggestion is among several recommendations the National Institute of Justice's Cold Case Working Group is putting together for law enforcement.

He said MPD is considering his recommendation. He hopes other law enforcement agencies will consider it too.

MPD has not yet responded to WMC Action News 5's request for comment about Adcock's recommendations.

While his idea won't solve every cold case, Adcock believes it would bring peace to some families still waiting for answers.

To learn more about the Mid-South Cold Case Initiative, call 901-468-6100 or visit

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