Colorado

Oct 9, 2010 8:01 PM by Matt Stafford

Families looking for hope and support in Colorado Springs

Finding closure after her son Tommy's murder isn't something Pam Kinslow thinks she'll ever really find.

"We live with his murder everyday," says Kinslow.

Tommy was shot just outside of his home two days before Thanksgiving in 2005.

"Not knowing who did it makes it harder."

Nearly five years later, the case is still cold; but Tommy's isn't alone. A Colorado group, looking into similar cases, has seen big growth. Families of Homicide Victims and Missing Persons, helping with cases like Tommy's, has been growing fast since beginning with just 11 people, all affected by murder, in 2001.

"We went to the State of Colorado and we asked them, "How many others like us are there in the state?" says Howard Morton, one of those original 11 who is now the group's executive director. "They didn't know."

So they took on the task of finding out.

"We've identified 1,500 unsolved murders in the state of Colorado," Morton says. They've contacted more than 500 of those victim's families, and now they have over 1000 members.

So when they get together at a meeting like this weekend's at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort, they're talking with law enforcement and trying to get tips to help their cases forward. Several local agencies were represented.

"They want to solve it as much as we do," says Kinslow, describing the close relationship she's developed with the investigators of her son's case. But as she's found out, solving a case takes much more than desire.

However, she doesn't lose sight of hope. For Kinslow, it comes in the form of a new law on the books for Colorado this month. It's known as "Katie's Law" and has law enforcement taking DNA samples of everyone arrested for a felony charge. Colorado was the 18th step to adopt a version of the law, named for a New Mexico college student who was murdered in 2003.

Kinslow hopes the law will add more evidence and eventually lead to her son's killer. It's that drive to find them is what keeps her, and other's at the weekend's meeting, moving forward.

To find out more about Katie's Law, click here.

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