Report Calls for More Resources as San Joaquin County Tackles Upward of 500 Cold Cases

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SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY -- A new report says San Joaquin County has hundreds of cold cases piling up and there aren't enough people to investigate them all.

Jessica Sewell’s son, Juwan Small, was gunned down in December of 2015 on Swain Road in Stockton. It was a tragedy that Sewell said she worked hard to prevent.

"He wasn’t a bad kid. He’s not involved in drugs, not involved in gangs. He’s a student-athlete. How does this happen?" Sewell told FOX40.

To this day, she still doesn’t know who gunned him down.

"Juwan’s case is a cold case," she explained. "There’s no leads, there's no new information. It’s going on four years."

Small’s murder is just one of 500 cold cases in San Joaquin County, a figure the grand jury believes can be changed with more resources, protocol and funding.

"The victims and the families certainly deserve answers," said Neal Fornaciari, foreman for the San Joaquin County Grand Jury.

Fornaciari said they are recommending that the district attorney’s office, the sheriff’s office and the Stockton Police Department work together.

"If there was a task force headed up by the district attorney then that would enable better the communication between the organizations," he said.

The grand jury also recommends hiring more detectives.

The sheriff’s office and the district attorney’s office told FOX40 that’s exactly what they’re trying to do.

Jose Nunez’s parents are also fighting to find out who killed their son in front of his own home in 2016 before the leads and other information grow colder.

"I want for justice," said Antonia Botello. "Yes, because I miss a lot my son."

But there's another issue.

"Define what a cold case is, there’s no uniform definition of what a cold case is," Fornaciari said.

The foreman said there is no clear definition of what constitutes a cold case in the county.

While each agency has 90 days to respond, Sewell said the community can and should take action now.

"Speak up and say something," she said. "People won’t speak up until it happens to their family. You have to speak up no matter what."

The Stockton Police Department said they will be responding to the report soon.


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