The Ottawa Police Service (OPS) is launching an Unsolved Homicide Task Force, which will be reviewing a number of cold cases from the last 12 years.
Since 1962, Inspector Carl Cartright says there have been 56 unsolved murders in Ottawa.
"Last year, when this concept of a task force was being conceived, we looked at -- are there any trends that can be identified? [In] phase one of this project, we have identified a trend that goes back 12 years, to 2009, and covers 22 homicides."
Insp. Cartright explains, unsolved murders are continuously under investigation at the OPS, but he can't remember a time that there has been this much effort put into getting them solved.
He says the victims in the homicides that the task force will be focusing on through the first phase of its existence, were primarily men from marginalized communities who died by gunfire. The OPS is confident that, in each of these cases there are still people in the community who have pieces of information which could help officers close the cases.
"In every case we have evidence and leads that we will follow up on, but we need help from our community," says Insp. Cartright. "Homicides are solved because people with information come forward to police. If you know something, we ask you to come forward and do the right thing both for the victims and their families and to ensure this does not happen again."
"We have been meeting with and working with the families and loved ones of the victims to offer them support and ensure these crimes are solved," says Chief Peter Sloly. "We have continued to follow investigative leads, bringing in new approaches like rewards and Neighbourhood Resource Teams to develop more community links. This new task force is the next step in our mission to solve these homicides, support the victim's families, hold the perpetrators accountable and improve the safety of all affected communities."
The OPS' Homicide Unit will continue to update the public as the work of this task force continues.
Anyone with information about unsolved homicides is asked to contact the Ottawa Police Homicide Unit at 613-236-1222, ext. 5493.
Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-222-8477 or at crimestoppers.ca.