The Homicide Victims’ Families’ Rights Act (The Act) provides an avenue for designated persons to request federal agencies conduct a review of the investigative case file for the cold case murder for potential reinvestigation.
Who May Request a Review Under the Act?
Immediate family members, or individuals similarly situated, of the cold case murder victim may submit a request under the Act. An immediate family member means a parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, grandparent-in-law, sibling, spouse, child or step-child of the murder victim.
What Case Files are Eligible for Review?
For a case file to be reviewed under the Act, the investigated offense must have been a criminal offense under section 1111(a) of Title 18, US Code, or any offense the elements of which are substantially identical to such section. 18 U.S.C. § 1111(a) defines “murder” as “the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought. Every murder perpetrated by poison, lying in wait, or any other kind of willful, deliberate, malicious, and premeditated killing; or committed in the perpetration of, or attempt to perpetrate, any arson, escape, murder, kidnapping, treason, espionage, sabotage, aggravated sexual abuse or sexual abuse, child abuse, burglary, or robbery; or perpetrated as part of a pattern or practice of assault or torture against a child or children; or perpetrated from a premeditated design unlawfully and maliciously to effect the death of any human being other than him who is killed, is murder in the first degree.” The Act applies to Cold Case Murders, occurring on or after January 1, 1970, which were committed more than three years prior to the application for review; were previously investigated by a federal law enforcement entity; for which all probative investigative leads have been exhausted; and for which no likely perpetrator has been identified.
Submitting a Request for OSI Review
To submit a request for OSI to review a case file for potential reinvestigation, individuals may email email@example.com. Requests must include the requesting individual’s name, their relation to the victim and the victim’s name. Additionally, requests should include as much of the following information as possible/if known: OSI Investigation Case Number, location of death, date of death and the related Air Force Base. When a request is received, OSI will acknowledge receipt of the request. OSI is expected to complete its review of each request within six months. To that end, OSI will strive to have each review completed within six months of receipt of each request. However, in situations where OSI is unable to complete its review within the six-month period, the requesting individual will be notified, and the delay will be explained.