Moline Police Digging For Clues In 1990 Disappearance - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Moline Police Digging For Clues In 1990 Disappearance


The Jerry A. Wolking case has been cold since November 1990.  The 52-year old disappeared without a trace 23 years ago. His car was found at the Quad City Airport and foul play has always been suspected. Recently, there's been new interest in the case with detectives taking a look at the Wolking disappearance.

Investigators have turned their attention to a rural Milan site. Police have asked us not to disclose the exact location, but the site was owned by the family of a person of interest in the case. Cadaver dogs were brought to the location and there was enough of a reaction to start digging.

Cold cases, like this one, are never closed until they are solved. The renewed interest in the Wolking case comes from the initiative of detectives who are trained in cold cases. They started looking at old interviews, reports and evidence and picked up on new leads.

"We never shut the door and say "Oh, we're done." No, we never do that until we find out what happened," says Lt. John Hitchcock with the Moline Police Department.

Lt. Hitchcock knows how difficult cold cases can be.

"They're very frustrating. I can personally attest to that, because I worked on a case that was cold for 10-years," adds Lt. Hitchcock.

Renewed interest in several cold cases came after a detective attended a cold case class. The detective heard presentations from families of cold case victims.

"He said he saw how much it meant to these people to have closure," according to Lt. Hitchcock.

Soon after Moline police closed a more than 25-year old cold case. Laura Brown was founded stabbed to death in her Moline home in 1988. The man convicted of shooting her husband to death in a Bettendorf park the day before Laura's death confessed to murdering her.

The next case detectives started working on was the Jerry Wolking case.

"The detectives research and interviewing led him to believe that what happened to Wolking, if he was killed, was he might have been buried somewhere," says Lt. Hitchcock.

Revisiting a cold case is often one of the best ways to solve it.

"Sometimes after a long time has passed, you get a different perspective of looking at it," adds Lt. Hitchcock, "Sometimes people that wouldn't talk to you back 20-years ago will talk to you now."

Investigation and finding new leads often leads to new tips that can help cases.

"Hopefully by the renewed interest, the media interest, maybe some more things will come up. Maybe somebody will call us and say "I know what happened that night or I should of told you back then, but I was afraid. Now I'm not afraid."

As for the Wolking case, investigators had to stop digging, because of the weather. Once the is ground to dry they will resume digging. They're hoping to be back out at the rural Milan site by Monday.

Police are asking for help from the public. If you have any information, contact the Moline Police Criminal Investigation Division at (309) 524-2140 or Crime Stoppers (309) 762-9500.

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