Polk County Sheriff: No unsolved murders in almost a decade

Polk County

The Polk County sheriff says his team is solving 100 percent of murders in their jurisdiction, and he hopes their numbers sends a message to criminals.

Sheriff Grady Judd said his detectives have solved every single homicide in their jurisdiction for nearly a decade. 

“If you look at the data for the last nine years and seven months, through the end of December, we have a 100 percent solve rate,” Sheriff Judd said. “We solved 148 homicides in unincorporated Polk County. That’s pretty unusual and we’re pretty excited about that.”

Sheriff Judd credited the agency’s use of resources as the biggest factor in their success of solving these crimes.

“As soon as we hear there is a homicide, our goal is to, probably to send about 20 to 30 people initially,” he said. “We send a homicide team, a crime scene team. You say, ‘okay, everybody does that,’ and they do. We also send an intelligence team and a narcotics team.”

The sheriff says these teams work together to make sure they find every clue to help solve the case.

“The quicker you begin working together evidence, the more evidence you can gather.”

He said this is the key to making critical connections. 

Sheriff Judd cited the recent arrest of a FEMA contractor.

“One of the most challenging ones we had recently was when a group of guys came here from Mobile, Alabama. Drove straight here, robbed and murdered two people, and drove straight back. No connections here at all,” he said.

Yet his team solved it in less than a week.

“We were able to determine one of our suspects worked for FEMA and he was in the area at the time. We also saw where he purchased fuel and gas,” Judd said.

“Does it tax resources? You bet it does. But it’s worth it to solve a murder because we owe to the person who’s lost their life and that person’s family.”

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