There are over 4 million miles of road in the United States, providing an extensive network for big rig transportation. But as the FBI has discovered, a disturbing trend has emerged along these highways.
Over the last few years, authorities investigating murders and missing persons discovered patterns of killings. According to the FBI, over 500 murder victims have been found alongside our nation's highways. When several of these murders turned out to fit specific profiles, authorities were able to link some of the cases together.
The FBI has launched a Highway Serial Killings initiative to help raise awareness about these links among law enforcement agencies, and among the general public. By maintaining a national database with details of each victim found along or near a highway, along with potential suspects, the database is proving a vital tool helping to get suspects into custody.
While there are millions of honest, hardworking truckdrivers traveling along these roads, cops believe these highways also give someone with a dark secret a great opportunity for a getaway.
But it also leaves authorities with a nightmare situation. As the FBI states, "with interstate truckers, they're not from the jurisdiction where the crime is committed. So the investigators are left with an unidentified body in which the victim and the suspect have no connection to his jurisdiction."
Many of these cases have been featured on AMW. Linsday Harris was first featured as a missing person, but a DNA match showed that Lindsay was in fact murdered. Authorities on the case have found several other cases that could be related. Misty Saens, Jodi Brewer, and Jessica Foster all disappeared from Las Vegas as well.
Authorities hope the Highway Serial Killer Initiative will help to close these unsolved cases. The FBI lists the following criteria for submission of a case to the database:
- - Homicide victims remains recovered along a highway, or in an area associated with highway travel, such as a rest stop or gas station.
- - Kidnapped or missing person whose last known location was near a highway.
- - Victims of sexual assault whose case is connected to a highway location.
- - Truck drivers or other individuals w've been investigated or arrested for murder, kidnapping, or sexual assault of victims near a highway location.