The Minneapolis Police Department’s Investigative Unit is relentless in pursuing justice for friends and relatives of homicide victims, and that includes unsolved cases from many years ago. The MPD is always looking for new information on “cold cases,” but up until 2015, investigators have never been part of a team where resources are collaboratively dedicated by the MPD, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
We encourage you to read the stories from the cold case files on this page and immediately share any information you might have with investigators by calling the MPD Tip Line at 612-692-TIPS (8477). You can also submit a tip through Crimestoppers by calling 1-800-222-8477 or texting "Tip747 plus your tip" to 274637.
The cases on this page will rotate, but rest assured, each one is extremely important to the men and women of the Minneapolis Police Department.
Tina Slaughter – Murdered July 1985
Tina Slaughter was a single mother of two young boys, she loved to talk on the phone and spend time with friends and family. On July 11, 1985, Tina was stabbed multiple times by an apparent burglar at her home on the 1700 block of Fremont Ave North. She was able to flee her apartment and go to the neighbors door and ask for help. The neighbor immediately called 911, but Tina later died from her injuries at the hospital. The case has been cold for decades, but advancements in technology have helped investigators find new DNA. They need your help finding who the DNA belongs to. If you have ANY information about Tina's death, please contact MPD. Her family deserves answers.
Terrell Mayes Jr. – Murdered December 2011
When 3 year old Terrell Mayes heard gunshots near his home in the 2600 block of Colfax Av. N. the day after Christmas, he did exactly what his mother had told him to do. He started to run up the stairs in an effort to hide in his bathtub for protection. Terrell only made it halfway up the stairs. His brother, at home at the time, would later tell police “why would somebody shoot my brother? He’s only a baby.” Since the time of his murder, investigators have interviewed dozens and dozens of people and yet the person who took this 3 year old’s life has never been found. In the beginning, there were a ton of tips on this case but lately there hasn’t been much. Investigators spent time tracking down leads in the prisons that haven’t panned out. If you have any information about who fired the stray bullet that pierced his home in the 2600 block of Colfax Av. N. on Dec. 26, 2011, please contact investigators. They need information. They need your help. Terrell’s mother needs to know why this happened.
Lois Swenson – Murdered June 2012
If someone in the neighborhood ever needed anything, Lois was always there to help. She was beloved by her family and her community, and every year on the anniversary of her murder, the community gathers to honor her and remember her legacy. And every year, those gathered ask the same question: “How could this have happened to Lois?” Lois Swenson had been missing for 7 days in the summer of 2012 when family members contacted the Minneapolis Police Department. She had been beaten to death in her own home, on the 2200 block of Vincent Avenue North. To this day, investigators need information. Detectives need someone to come forward with information.
Joe Behrend – Murdered August 1989
Joe Behrend left Madison, South Dakota to chase his dreams and launch his music career. As a keyboardist with the Flamin’ Ohs, he was part of a group that was one of the first to record a music video for MTV. The group was extremely popular regionally and Behrend was embarking on a new music project when he was murdered in 1989. He had been bludgeoned to death in the music room of his apartment on Columbus Avenue South. Family members, friends and musical colleagues have continued to wonder who killed Joe, and why. Investigators share their frustration and continue to work this case, but need a little help from someone, anyone, with any information that may lead to the arrest of the person who murdered musician Joe Behrend.
Luis Figuero-Morales – Murdered December 2008
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Luis Figuero-Morales spent Christmas Eve of 2008 celebrating with friends and family. He left the party with his brother to begin a frigid walk home, but the 28 year old only made it half way to his home. His body was found in the middle of Lake Street, at Pleasant Avenue in South Minneapolis, a few hours later by a passerby. Investigators know Figuero-Morales was approached by a lone male that morning and a conversation took place before the suspect pulled out a gun and shot the victim. The suspect then ran from the area. Investigators have tracked down dozens of leads in this case, but need more information to bring Luis’ killer to justice.
ALI YASSIN ISMAEL – MURDERED OCTOBER 2009
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Ali Yassin Ismael’s body was found in a car at 19th and Nicollet in the early morning hours of October 26, 2009. It was a murder that concerned the neighborhood and the Somali Community. Despite the fact that it was just after 2 in the morning, this area was still very busy and lively at the time of the morning, further adding to the concern in that area of the city. To this day, Ismael’s killer has not been found. We know he was in a parked vehicle with other people and we know he was shot by a gunman who ran from the scene, but investigators are looking for some key witnesses to step forward and share information on a suspect. Ali Yassin Ismael was 23 years old when he was killed.
Larry Powell – Murdered January 2009
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Larry Powell was 48 years old when he was shot and killed on the 1600 block of Hillside Avenue North. He was killed by a single bullet; his body was discovered next to a snowbank around 5 o’clock in the evening. His killer has never been caught but investigators are sure that someone out there has the information they need to bring the suspect to justice. Detectives communicate with Larry’s family members periodically, and they always ask about their loved one’s case; the Minneapolis Police Department is determined to give them the justice they’re looking for. Someone is responsible for murdering Mr. Powell, who was simply trying to get home to see his family on a cold January night in 2009.