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N.H. Senate Committee Aproves Bill to Strengthen State's Cold Case Unit

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved a bill to add new positions to the state’s cold case unit.

The bill would hire two new detectives to investigate cold cases and two new attorneys to prosecute them. The unit is currently staffed with one attorney and four detectives, two of whom work part-time.

The bipartisan bill comes after the federal money that helped launch the unit in 2009 was depleted.

The bill's prime sponsor, Republican Senator Jeb Bradley, says there are crimes from his own town of Wolfeboro that he’d like to see solved.

"We have two unsolved murders that were pretty gruesome and there were never any charges," said Bradley, referring to the murders of Stacey Burns in 2009 and Roberta Miller in 2010, "it just really racked the town."

The bill as originally introduced only included the new attorney positions. Bradley says the testimony from families of victims at the bill's first public hearing changed that.

"It’s really a credit to the families of victims who came and testified and said ‘we think you need investigators, too,’" said Bradley.

The Cold Case Unit currently handles more than 120 cases.

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