‘Uncovered’ works to solve more than 200,000 cold cases across the U.S.
MADISON, Ind. (WAVE) - On July 6, 2004, 23-year-old Molly Dattilo disappeared from Indianapolis.
Dattilo, from Madison, was a student at Eastern Kentucky University, taking summer classes at IUPUI. Family members told WAVE 3 News she disappeared one evening after spending the day with John Shelton.
Almost 17 years to the day, her family still has no idea what happened to her.
“I know there were searches conducted and I had family members who moved across the country back to Indianapolis to help and advocate and be apart,” said Anna Eaglin, Molly’s cousin.
Every year, 5,000 cases go unsolved, just like Molly. That drive to find answers has never stopped for her cousin. Now, Eaglin is working on similar cold cases.
Eaglin co-founded ‘Uncovered’ with Ashlee Fujawa, Head of Community, and Jim Brown, the CEO. It’s an online database that works with the community to solve cold cases of murdered or missing people across the U.S.
“Every once in a while, I would just catch up on Molly’s case, and information is everywhere,” Eaglin said. “How do I find the most up to date information? Just a space to know this is the most recent update, this is the last thing that happened in the case, that’s really powerful information.”
The Uncovered team of five collects all of the information that’s available to the public and organizes it on their database so it’s easily accessible. The website features a map with each case outlines, along with a descript of each missing person or murder victim.
“We’re overlaying maps, photos, sources and we’re trying everything together in a visual component that is victim first,” Fujawa said. “Because we want people to come and learn more about these cases but in a thoughtful way and help us crowdsource the gaps that exist.”
According to the U.S. Department of Justice and the Investigative Science Journal, only 20% of law enforcement agencies have a protocol to start cold case investigations. And 10% have dedicated cold case investigators. The Uncovered co-founders quit their previous formers to dedicate their lives to this mission. They’re hoping to get the community involved to find more answers.
“Through collective impact, we hope to shine a light on this and show people how to do this the right way and hopefully help to solve,” Fujawa said.
Anyone can apply to be an Unsolved member or submit information about a cold case. Find out more by clicking here.
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