The violent, unexpected death of a family member, intimate partner, or close friend is one of the most traumatic experiences a person can face, and it prompts a wide range of emotional reactions. Co-victims also may find that the "normal" grief of losing a loved one is further complicated by the trauma or stigma of the crime.

There is no right or wrong way to feel when someone close to you is murdered. You may feel overcome with disbelief, anger, and sadness with an intensity never experienced before, or you may feel emotionally numb. It is normal for adults and children to experience such intense feelings in the days and weeks following a homicide, and then periodically over time. Survivors are at risk of developing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other problems, where extreme anxiety, fear, and sadness or nightmares and intrusive thoughts remain constant for weeks or months. Additional support and counseling are often very helpful in managing these overwhelming emotions.

The investigation and criminal justice process following a homicide may be confusing and traumatic for co-victims. Family and friends may have many questions about the way their loved one died. It is often important for you and your family members to remain in contact with the investigators and the victim assistance professionals assigned to the case in order to receive periodic updates about the investigation and court hearings, if there is an arrest.

Family members and friends often feel that they have little control over the criminal justice process or results. Investigations do not always lead to an arrest, arrests do not always end in prosecution, prosecutions do not always end in convictions, and convictions do not always lead to stiff sentences. If there is an arrest, the length of time from arrest to final disposition varies from case to case. Court rules and continuances can be very frustrating. CMPD’s Homicide detectives and CMPD’s victim services is there to help you through this process.

The Homicide Unit
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department's Homicide Unit is dedicated to serving the citizens of Charlotte-Mecklenburg. We are responsible for investigating all homicides, assaults which result in serious/critical injury to the victim, suicides and unattended deaths with unusual circumstances. We also handle police officer-involved incidents.

Our detectives are expected to provide the victim's family as much information as soon as possible and to keep them updated throughout the investigation. They are also responsible for presenting cases to the District Attorney's Office and assisting in the prosecution of the cases in court.

The Homicide Unit Tips Line
Following a homicide, the lead Detective in the case can be reached by calling 704-432-8477 (TIPS). We want the community to be able to directly speak to the detective to provide information regarding a homicide that occurs in their neighborhood. We encourage anyone with information to get involved and make the call that will help end the violence in your neighborhood.

Cold Case Investigations

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has approximately 600 open homicide cases dating back through the early 1960’s. Each of these cases represents a victim and their families who are still waiting for closure and justice. A big concern for families is that a case has been forgotten. Detectives working older cases find that relationships change, fear of cooperation dissipates, and people who were initially uncooperative can become your best witnesses. Previously processed evidence can be reprocessed using the latest techniques and provide new clues to a killer's identity. With the belief that all victims need closure the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department formed a Cold Case Unit in April of 2003.

The Homicide Cold Case Unit consists of homicide detectives, a civilian review team with law enforcement experience, and civilian volunteers from a wide array of life experiences. Initially, a case is assigned to a civilian review team member. That team member will read over the case file and identify any leads that need to be followed. They will also organize the paperwork and provide the detectives with a detailed summary of the available information relating to the case. This review and organization of the case information saves the detective valuable time. Subsequently, the detective can immediately begin working on the relevant leads. The review process generally takes approximately five months.

Please review the Highlighted Unsolved Cold Cases from the past couple of years which our detectives are currently seeking additional information. Anyone having information on a cold case is asked to contact one of the detectives or the agent listed below. You may also contact the Homicide Cold Case Hotline:


Victim Services

About Our Group
A sudden tragic event, like losing a loved one shatters our sense of order and leaves us in a world forever changed. Please know that you are not alone. The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department Victim Services Unit has the following support groups. Our objective is to provide non-judgmental safe environments for family members to come together to support, encourage, and share their challenges and experiences with others who understand.

The Homicide Support Group meets the 1st Tuesday of each month at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Headquarters, 601 E. Trade Street. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.

Youth Trauma & Grief Support Group meets the 1st Tuesday of each month at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Headquarters, 601 E. Trade Street. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.

The Traffic Related Deaths Support Group meets the 3rd Tuesday of each month at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Headquarters, 601 E. Trade Street. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. *** There is no registration required for the groups and we encourage you to join us. ***

Victim Services does not only offer the support group, but will help those in need of crisis intervention, emergency assistance, counseling referrals, court escort and orientation, and assistance in completing victim compensation applications. [View a brief video of our services]

The Homicide Support Group was started in 2009. In 2018, the Youth Trauma & Grief Support Group was added. Chief Jennings values and supports the Homicide Support Group in their efforts to reach out to families impacted by the death of a loved one. The Traffic Related Deaths Support Group was initiated in 2016. In 2018, the Youth Trauma & Grief Support Group was initiated.

Volunteer Opportunities
Volunteer Family Advocates: these specially-trained volunteers are survivors and will work directly with families who have lost loved ones to homicide or traffic related deaths. Responsibilities include: supporting family members through a continuum of care services as outlined in the training process. Volunteers are expected to attend monthly meetings and special events.

Volunteer Requirements: Complete volunteer hours of training, pass a criminal background check, clear the vetting process, and commit to a minimum of one year of service.

For more information about volunteering with the Victim Support Services, please contact Victim Support Specialist Shardal Rose.

Contact Information
For more information about the Homicide Support Group, the Traffic Related Deaths Support Group, or the Youth Trauma & Grief Support Group, please contact:
Victim Services Unit: 704-336-2364

Family Support Services Information

Victim's Assistance
United Family Services of Charlotte

601 East Fifth Street, Suite 400
Charlotte, NC 28202
704-332-9034 for victims of felony crimes
704-336-4126 for victims of domestic violence

Provides free individual and support group counseling.
  • Helps victims and family members clarify their problems and feelings to return to normal living
  • Assists the criminal justice systems to support victims
  • Assists with filling out the necessary forms for victim compensation. Call 704-367-2735 for assistance.
  • Assists with locating other needed services.

N.C. Department of Crime Control and Public Safety Compensation Services
Victims Compensation Services reimburses citizens who suffer medical expenses and lost wages as a result of being an innocent victim of a crime committed in North Carolina. Victims of rape, assault, child sexual abuse, domestic violence and drunk driving. Families of homicide victims also eligible to apply for financial help.

VINE - Notification of arrestee's release
Mecklenburg County's hotline that provides information on inmate custody status.

Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Department
700 E. 4th Street
Charlotte, North Carolina 28202
  • Maintains current information in VINE.
  • To access inmate information

Mecklenburg County District Attorney's Office
700 East Trade Street
Charlotte, NC 28202
  • Determines what cases will be prosecuted in court.
  • Prepares cases for trial.
  • Contacts victims in serious offenses after an arrest has been made.
  • Resolves cases by a trial before a jury; by a trial before or judge; or by plea agreement.

Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner's Office
618 N. College Street
Charlotte, North Carolina 28202
  • Conducts the autopsy on the victim.
  • Determines the cause of death.
  • Coordinates with the victim's family and the selected funeral home or cremation service.
Mothers of Murdered Offspring
A resource for families of murder victims in which they are brought together in support of one another. They promote the message of non-violence through educational programs and activities.
Contact Person: Lisa Crawford
Telephone Number: 980-777-6860

Child Development-Community Policing
  • Provides crisis intervention services to children who witness or are a victim of violence.
  • The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department makes a referral to CD-CP.

Frequently Asked Questions

When can a victim's belongings be turned over to a family member after a homicide, suicide, or death investigation?
During a homicide investigation, most items and vehicles seized will be held until there is a final disposition in the case. The District Attorney's Office will then contact the detective in regards to the items of evidence that were seized. Most items will be released, but some may be retained for a period of time, at the discretion of the District Attorney's Office. Items taken into evidence during a suicide or death investigation likely will be held only until the Medical Examiner has made an official ruling on the cause of death. The detective assigned to the case will complete all of the appropriate paperwork and contact family members to release items once the case is closed. The Property Management and Evidence Control Division will also send a letter to notify the designated person that the property is available to be picked up.

Can I see a homicide detective if I come by CMPD Headquarters without an appointment?
Anyone wishing to speak to a detective about a particular case should call and make an appointment. Our detectives work rotating shifts and often are out of the office working ongoing investigations, conducting interviews, or involved in court proceedings.

For information about a particular case, the lead detective has the authority to determine what information can be released. It is important to make sure the lead detective is available before stopping by.

After a homicide occurs, detectives meet with the family of the victim to provide them with information and to give the family an opportunity to ask any questions they may have. Our detectives are sensitive to the needs of victims' families and will make themselves available any time the family needs to speak to them. If you have trouble contacting a homicide detective, you can call 704-336-2311 and request to speak to the on-duty homicide sergeant.

How will I know when I need to be in court for any hearings involving my loved one's case?
There will be no need to go to court until an arrest is made in the homicide case. In the first few days after an arrest has been made, your point of contact will be the lead detective. He/she will notify your family of the arrest and explain what to expect concerning court appearances. Once the detective has had an opportunity to turn over the case information to the District Attorney's Office, a representative from their office will notify you of any court proceedings for which you need to be present.