May 14, 2014 8:12 pm

Family of homicide victim hope for break in cold case

REGINA – The daughter of homicide victim Roger Byer, whose body was found in an abandoned farm three months after his disappearance, made a public plea Tuesday. Despite what police know, investigators have released few details about how he was killed, and who might be involved – information they say, becomes increasingly difficult to uncover years later.

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“As with everyone, memories fade. So your memory today is a lot better than it will be four years from now,” said Ken Palen, of the RCMP’s historical case unit.

The Byer case is one of 34 cold cases Saskatchewan RCMP currently have on their hands. However that number has decreased since 2006, when Saskatchewan Mounties became the first in the prairies to launch a historical case unit.

“It was primarily because my predecessors in the major crimes unit realized there was a void in the service delivery to those investigations and to the public. These files weren’t getting the attention they needed because of the calls for service,” said Palen.

That same year, the Regina Police Service followed suit.

While officials say the most critical moments for homicide investigations are the first 48 hours, it’s not impossible to get new information later on.

“We could get a tip, you know, something could come through Crime Stoppers. We might have a person who’s responsible for a suspect in the investigation may talk to somebody, and that information may filter down to police,” said Tim Seiferling, former cold case Sergeant.

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