Often times, people will hire private investigators to work on cases that have law enforcement involvement. These cases could be active or live, closed, or “cold” cases, which means an investigation has stalled. If it is active and the authorities are still working on it, a Houston private investigator may be viewed as unwelcome and experience problems. The same could be true of closed or cold cases because it means new leads or evidence has surfaced and people are looking into it. One thing is certain, however, PIs must learn to work independently of law enforcement and welcome it when they are brought into an active police investigation.
Texas High-Profile Investigations
In high-profile criminal cases and/or civil matters requiring a Texas Corporate Investigator, it is also quite common for PIs to be recruited as an extra set of eyes to uncover additional clues, track down elusive leads, and/or locate crucial witnesses who might provide essential information pivotal to solving puzzling cases. This is especially true of cold or unsolved cases and/or those involving violent offenses.
In many cases, PIs may find physical evidence that had been overlooked when the scene was active. This could be months or even years after the crime occurred. As a result, this evidence could help prove a person culpable of the crime or it could exonerate them completely. Without that evidence, an innocent individual could face years, decades, or a lifetime in prison. If found guilty of a capital offense, they could even face a death sentence depending on the circumstances and locality of the case. Meanwhile, a guilty culprit could go free.
It’s also important to note that, in some cases, there are no witnesses, and in the absence of self-incriminating statements by a suspect, the best way to ensure the guilty party is found and punished is via physical evidence, such as DNA, fingerprints, blood or other bodily fluids, etc.
Locating Witnesses & Others
Another aspect of an investigation where a Houston private detective can add value is in locating witnesses and obtaining their cooperation RE: witness statements, depositions, additional leads, and/or even possible court testimony. Investigators need to gain the trust of potential witnesses and help them feel comfortable in order to elicit information. However, they must do so in an honest and trustworthy fashion, which brings us to two essential aspects of a private investigator’s job. Proper documentation and integrity are crucial elements for all professional investigators, especially where high-profile criminal cases are concerned.
Private Eyes Can Make or Break a Case
Just like chain of custody issues and/or tainted evidence in police investigations, the use of deceptive practices by private investigators can severely damage or destroy a case altogether. High-profile cases, such as the O.J. Simpson murder trial and the Amanda Knox murder inquiry, have highlighted just how vital proper documentation and evidence procurement is to an investigation, as well as how dramatically a case can be impacted when deceptive methods are utilized. It can literally make or break an investigation and affect many lives in the process.
Private investigators are hired to work on a variety of cases that may or may not have law enforcement involvement. Authorities may or may not welcome a PI in the mix, depending on whether it is a live or cold case and the circumstances surrounding the case. Regardless, a private investigator must learn to work independently of, as well as in league with, law enforcement and gather evidence in an effort to solve the crime and identify the person(s) responsible so they can be punished.