Retired Ind. detectives create volunteer unit to help solve cold cases

The new unit will help get closure for victims’ families and take some of the workload off other investigators, police said

By Suzie Ziegler 

MISHAWAKA, Ind. — Three Indiana detectives are coming out of retirement to take another crack at murder cases gone cold. And they’re doing it for free. 

The new Special Investigation Unit at the Mishawaka Police Department aims to give closure to victims’ families and take some of the workload off full-time investigators, ABC 57 reported on Tuesday. The three detectives and one secretary are all volunteers who work on their own time. 

“They knew that we had some cold cases and they just contacted us last year and said, ‘Hey we want to work your cold cases and you don’t even have to pay us,’” said Division Chief Dan Gebo, who leads the agency’s detective bureau. 

Gebo says the volunteers will be a big help to the department, especially because the county’s homicide unit was disbanded in 2021. 

"Since the old homicide unit disbanded last year, Mishawaka Police is now investigating homicides and along with that is cold case homicides,” Gebo said. “It’s great help and plus they’re great officers and great people for our community. We’re really lucky.” 

Gebo says the new unit will help take the pressure off other investigators. 

“It frees our time so we can concentrate on active cases,” he said. 

The team includes former Mishawaka detective Tim Corbett, who retired as commander of the department’s homicide unit, retired Officer Jim Campbell and homicide Det. Dave Dosmann, both formerly of the South Bend Police Department.

Gebo says the Special Investigation Unit will help bring needed closure to families. 

“I don’t like cases just to sit especially homicide cases that are cold. We owe it to the family members to always keep looking for the person responsible,” Gebo said.

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