Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes announced today that his office has hired an investigator to focus on open, unsolved homicide cases in Lee County.

Investigator Mark Whitaker comes to the district attorney’s office from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s Cold Case Unit. He will bring his more than 38 years of local, state and federal law enforcement experience to work in partnership with local police agencies on these cases.

“Every city and county in this country has cold homicide cases, but very few police agencies have the resources to devote an investigator to concentrate only those older open, unsolved homicides," Hughes said. "My purpose in hiring Mark is to provide that investigator who can focus his time and effort solely on cold cases with the belief that this will give us the best chance of obtaining justice for these victims and their families.”

Hughes said he met Whitaker in 2017. The two worked together on a 15-month investigation into the disappearance of Lori Ann Slesinski.

"It was in the latter stages of that investigation that I knew I wanted to bring Mark on board and assist us as a cold case investigator," Hughes said. "He understands what it means to work these difficult cases and that makes him a perfect fit for this newly created position.

“I continue to look for ways this office can evolve and utilize its resources to address the most critical needs of our community. I believe hiring a dedicated cold case investigator is in direct line with that mission.”

Hughes first took office in January 2017 in Lee County.

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