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Major crime detectives from around NYS gather in Vernon

By By JOLEEN FERRIS

VERNON, N.Y. (WKTV) - It's the nightmare of the major crimes detective: the unsolved case.

On Thursday, detectives from around New York State came to Vernon in hopes of learning something to help close their cold cases.

The regional meeting of the Association of Licensed Detectives of New York State took place in Vernon Downs. Among the featured speakers: Gil Alba, a former NYPD detective who, in private practice, worked on such high-profile cases as Chandra Leavy and Natalee Holloway.

Unsolved, cold cases were a major topic of discussion. Along those lines, a presentation from two of the investigators on the Kimberly Simon task force. Her 1985 murder was 'unsolved' in 2008 when DNA evidence exonerated the original suspect, who'd spent nearly 20 years in prison for the crime.

"Some information sharing to get different views, different ideas, it was mainly just to talk about the case. A lot of the stuff that's going on today is concerning missing persons and cold case investigations....being that ours started off as a missing person and now it is a cold case investigation," says Task Force Investigator Richard Ferrucci.

It was science that freed original Kimberly Simon murder suspect Steven Barnes, and it's science that investigators are hoping will bring Simon's real killer or killers to justice. Right now, they are waiting for word from a world-renowned laboratory in Texas; a lab investigators are hoping can work magic with 25-year-old DNA evidence. Investigators could know more next week.

"Next week at some point we're going to be having a big sit down with them either there or through a teleconference to compare notes and see if there's anything else we can do in the form of new testing, old testing," says Ferrucci.

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