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Big Bend Cold Case Task Force formed to pursue justice in unsolved cases

If you have information you would like to share with a detective, call 850-410-7611
Posted at 1:33 PM, Feb 21, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-22 09:05:44-05
  • Law enforcement in the Big Bend are working together to solve cold cases.
  • Community members can also play a role in solving these cases.
  • Read the city's news release below about the progress made and see how you can help.


The Tallahassee Police Department (TPD), Leon County Sheriff's Office (LCSO), Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and the State Attorney's Office of the Second Judicial Circuit (SAO) proudly announce the recent establishment of the Big Bend Cold Case Task Force: No Case Forgotten, No Truth Untold.

Since its inception in 2023, the task force has made significant strides in bringing closure to long-standing cold cases and developing new leads, demonstrating the partner agencies' commitment to seeking justice for victims and their families.

Through diligent investigation and cooperation among agencies, the task force has successfully resolved one case and made strides in a second case.

The first case, the oldest cold case on record for TPD, was closed through exceptional clearance, indicating that the case was closed without any arrests or charges filed, following the death of the offender. The victim, 27-year-old Dorothy Thomas, was brutally stabbed to death while working at the Nu Way Cleaners, formerly located at 633 West Tennessee Street, on September 6, 1957. A primary suspect, Harry Barth, who was a customer of the cleaners, was developed at the time; however, there was not enough evidence for an arrest. Recently, it was discovered that Barth died of natural causes in 2019. A subsequent review of the case by the task force led detectives to establish probable cause indicating that Barth murdered Thomas. This resolution shows the dedication of law enforcement professionals to bring closure even in the face of significant challenges.

The second case where new information has been uncovered involves the disappearance of Leslie McCoy, who was last seen by family and friends in 2014. Today she would be 58 years old. Despite the initial investigation yielding no productive leads, the task force is actively reviewing McCoy's case and following up on viable leads and relevant information.

The closure and ongoing investigation of these cases highlight the effectiveness of collaborative efforts in law enforcement and the unwavering ongoing efforts to pursue justice for victims and their families.

The Big Bend Cold Case Task Force is committed to leveraging all available resources and investigative techniques to solve these cases, but they can't do it alone. Community members are encouraged to come forward with any information that may assist in these ongoing investigations or other cold cases in the Tallahassee and Leon County area; your information could be the difference. If you have information you would like to share with a detective, call 850-410-7611. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can call Crime Solvers at 850-574-TIPS.