Cold Case FIles: Tiffanny Sessions
There are many cold case investigative crime shows on television. Some feature well known actors and storylines that are the work of writers. Other shows feature real crimes and re-enactments of what is believed to have happened to a victim.
TV 20's Paige Beck has an ongoing special report on North Central Florida cold case investigations showing us that a case may be considered "cold," but investigators are still working for that break to heat things back up.
What happens when a crime has happened to a member of your family. It is no longer entertainment. It is reality. And sometimes the case is not solved in an hour or years, turning it from hot to cold.
Alachua County Sheriffs Office's Lt. Jack Jacobs says, "Some people in this world really care about her (Tiffany Sessions). I know we all do."
University of Florida student Tiffany Sessions has now been missing for 20 years. Her case remains unsolved.
Alachua County Sheriffs Deputies and Gainesville Police officers, who are cold case team members, still have hope for the Sessions case and the others that are waiting for that big break.
Lt. Jacobs says, "Somewhere, somebody knows and generally speaking suspects always talk."
Lt. Will Halvosa of the Gainesville Police Department says, "It may be be a small piece of this puzzle but it would be invaluable in opening up this case."
Investigators often get that break in a case when an unwilling witness turns willing due to a change in relationships.
Lt. Jacobs says, "With cold cases people get divorced. Girlfriends and boyfriends break up or family members have a falling out and those allegiances are lost."
As detectives work to find new clues by talking to witnesses, technology also works in their favor.
DNA can be pulled from a 30 year old blood-stained shirt or DNA from an old rape case can match a sexual offender now found in a nationwide database.
Cold cases are part scientific and part old fashioned shoe leather. Cpl. Patty Nixon of the Gainesville Police Department says, "It's really basic detective work"
ACSO's Detective Robert Dean says, "Basically, I start the investigation from point zero" For family members, that "point zero" often describes the feeling from the first day of the crime. A cold case investigation brings hope that their loved one's case will be solved. They are not alone in their hope.
Cpl. Nixon says, "I just cant wait if we do make a break and tell them we have something on their case" Which is something Tiffany Sessions' family is still waiting to hear. Tiffany's mother, Hilary Sessions, says, "If there's a clue that looks like it may be something you're on a high. Thinking you're going to have a resolution to the case and when it doesn't work out you're in a deep depression."
If you have information on this, or any other unsolved crime, please contact the authorities below:
Gainesville Police Department: Criminal Investigation Unit 352.334.2470
Cpl. Patti Nixon, Gainesville Police Department
Alachua County Sheriff's Office: 352.367.4000
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