It is said by many that murder is the “ultimate” crime. The Homicide Unit, which is comprised of a lieutenant, 6 sergeants, and 20 detectives, is an element of the Criminal Investigations Section, and investigates a murder as if it is, in fact, the "ultimate" crime. When a murder occurs in the City of Miami, a team of investigators respond to the scene. A sergeant leads the team of investigators tasked with examining evidence, interviewing witnesses, identifying the offender(s), obtaining a confession, and eventually making an arrest. Investigators work around the clock until all leads have been exhausted. They coordinate their efforts with their colleagues in the Miami Police Department as well as other local, county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.
Their investigation starts at the crime scene where, in conjunction with the Crime Scene Investigations Unit, they identify, process and collect any evidence located at the scene. The Miami-Dade Medical Examiner responds to the scene at the request of the investigators and performs a preliminary medical examination of the victim. The following day an autopsy is performed on the victim to determine the cause and manner of death. In the meantime, the Homicide investigators continue to interview witnesses, take sworn statements and show them photographs. Once the offender is identified the investigators conduct an interrogation in an attempt to obtain a confession. Eventually they consult with the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office and arrest the offender.
The investigation does not end there. Detectives work closely with the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office by conducting follow-up investigations; maintain contact with witnesses, and assist with the preparation of the trial. They are essential to the investigative and prosecutorial process. In some cases, the investigators will be called upon to testify at a resulting trial.
When an investigator runs out of leads, the case remains open until new leads are discovered. In some cases, new leads are not discovered for several years. These leads are assigned to the Cold Case Squad. The Cold Case Squad is tasked with investigating new leads on cases that may be several years old. This is difficult because they must relocate witnesses whose memory of the crime may not be vivid.
The Homicide Unit does not only investigate murders. Investigators also respond to suicides, accidental deaths, unclassified, arson-related, and natural deaths in which the victim has no attending physician.
Contacting the Homicide Unit
If you need to reach one of the detectives, please contact them at their phone number or e-mail address listed here on the website. If you are experiencing difficulty contacting a detective or are not sure which detective you need to speak with, please call the main Homicide Unit number at (305) 603-6350
As of September 20, 44 lives were lost this year. On this date last year, 62 lives were taken. Your help is needed in those cases that have not been cleared. Should you have any information open 2016 homicide case or open 2015 homicide case, please call either the Homicide Unit at (305) 603-6350, Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477, or visit the website at crimestoppersmiami.com and select “Give a Tip.” If your tip leads to an arrest of the suspect, you may be eligible for a reward of up to $3000.00. You may also be of assistance with some other older cases.