Evidence Going Digital - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Evidence Going Digital

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A cold case is like writing an on-going novel.

"Until you reach the end of your story, and the end of our story would be the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible, you keep adding to your book," says Sheriff Lou Roberts.

While investigators search for an ending, Sheriff Roberts hopes a switch from paper to plastic can help.

"We were able to put all those filing cabinets into this one small external hard rive," says Roberts.

Every document of evidence from the 1989 McRae double homicide was scanned into the computer one by one.

"It took them for a little over 4 months to scan it and then quite a bit of time organizing it," says Roberts.

The Bay County Sheriff's Office created a software to help the investigators in Jackson County organize all the evidence and be able to filter through it by searching for keywords.

"To navigate through all these cabinets and boxes," says Roberts. "It just takes you a lot of time to get up with speed with everything they've done. He says he's hoping with this new technology, it will help expedite an investigator who is going through it and trying to digest the information.

Investigators in Jackson county have only digitally transformed the McRae homicides but do plan to make the conversion with their other cold cases.

"This is the largest case [McRae] we got so we wanted to get the largest case out of the way," says Roberts.

In addition to what may lie in decades-old evidence, Sheriff Roberts says any information the public may have to share is also crucial in reaching that final chapter of a cold case.

"We would like to have finally, you know, the end."

The McRae double murder will approach it's 24th anniversary next Tuesday.

While it's a reminder the case remains unsolved, Sheriff Roberts says they'll continue working all cases and ultimately bring closure to the families who were affected.