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EPPD: 31 cold cases over 40 years
Friday, November 8, 2013 - 4:09pm
El Paso, Texas (KDBC) — Waiting decades for justice, several murders are committed every year in the borderland.
Most are quickly solved, but some never are.
That's a nightmare for victim's families but one recent case is giving many hope.
As NewsChannel 9 reported, Roger Garrett was just found guilty of killing his step father, a Fort Bliss officer, nearly 30 years ago.
With El Paso being named one of the country's safest cities, you wouldn't think there would be any unsolved murder crimes. But as I sat down with one El Paso detective, he said he’s inching closer to solving another murder mystery.
"A little after midnight, they find her and she had been stabbed to death," said Mike Aman, detective for the homicide division.
He said for ten years now, the El Paso Police Department has looked at over 40 years’ worth of unsolved murder cases, about 31 solvable cases according to Aman.
This particular case though, may have an end in sight.
“She had been stabbed to death, there were several acquaintances, boyfriend ex-boyfriend, were looked at because it did not appear that this was a home invasion by a stranger," added Aman
Doris Lorraine Rivers was 21 years at the time of her murder.
She had been left home alone while her sister took River's 5 year old son to the movies, when they returned they found rivers in the living room dead.
43 years later, Aman said there could be enough evidence to close this case.
"The evidence, that item the particular item is in the works,” he said. “It's being tested, and we don't know yet. Is there anything there or not? We'll see."
But why wait so long?
"They couldn't do anything with it because there was no DNA. Now we can go back look at that evidence. Is it still preserved? Can we use it for DNA testing?"
Plus there are other factors that affect the investigations. Working the cold case files used to be the task of four.
"We started off with four detectives back in 2004,” said Aman. “The other three are either retired or promoted, so I am the only one left."
While Aman seemingly works his way through the files by himself, he does have some help.
"I am the only one working them,” he said. “If I need assistance, I can easily just call one of my partners."
Aman adds sometimes the best way to solve a murder case is by having people come out and tell their side of the story.
"One of these cold cases from the 90's, where the son of the victim recently contacted me and said he wants to talk to me and tell me what he knows."
Aman said since the turn of this century, nearly 100 percent of the homicides are solved. He adds that thanks to the decrease in murders here in El Paso this year, he's got the time to work on the unsolved murder cases.
If you would like to get in touch with Detective Mike Aman, you could reach him at the El Paso Head Quarters at 564-7010.