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Iowa spending more than half a million on new cold case unit

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(The Center Square) – No one should get away with murder, said Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird, who is hoping that a new cold case squad will crack some of the state’s 400 unsolved murders.

The Iowa Legislature allocated $529,036 for three full-time investigators and one prosecutor.

“And I thank the legislature for granting us the budget to make it happen,” Bird said. “My promise to families of Iowa cold case victims is this: we will never give up, we will never stop searching, and we will never lose hope.”

The cold case unit will work with local law enforcement agencies across the state to solve the cases, some of which are decades old.

Jody Ewing, who runs the nonprofit Iowa Cold Cases, joined Bird earlier this month to discuss the new unit. The nonprofit’s website includes cases that go back as far as 1918 when 27-year-old police officer Georgia William Mattern was killed by a man trying to rob a bar.

Bird said if just one cold case is solved, the effort is worth it.

“Most other states also have a statewide cold case unit to back law enforcement in searching for answers,” Bird said. “Now, Iowa does too.”

Bird has set up a tip line and email for anyone with information on a cold case.

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