Captain Melissa Hukill
The Delaware State Police Homicide Section is comprised of three distinct and unique units; the Homicide Unit, the Forensic Firearms Services Unit and the Crime Lab. These units are staffed by talented civilian and sworn Divisional employees with specialized training and advanced education allowing them to detect crimes, identify suspects and prosecute the offenders in Delaware courts.
Established in 1989, the Delaware State Police (DSP) Homicide Unit is comprised of seven sworn members and one civilian administrative assistant. The primary responsibilities of the Homicide Unit include the investigation of homicides, suspicious deaths, and missing persons in which the person is suspected to be deceased. The Homicide Unit also investigates officer involved uses of deadly force, attempted murders and selected assaults. In addition to new investigations, the Homicide Unit is responsible for investigating “cold case” homicides.
During 2015, the Homicide Unit investigated 25 new cases. The Unit provided investigative assistance to all DSP criminal troops and allied law enforcement agencies in numerous death and missing person investigations. Of the 25 new cases investigated by unit members, sixteen were homicide investigations, with 18 victims. The clearance rate was 44% which does not include warrants currently on file for three (3) additional Murder 1st suspects. The unit also investigated 3 police officer involved use of force cases. In addition, five death investigations from previous years were adjudicated in the court system with findings of guilt or guilty pleas during 2015.
This year the Homicide Unit hosted the 20th Annual Homicide Conference in Dover. This annual event is recognized as one of the premiere conferences in the nation dealing with the investigation of suspicious deaths. Approximately 150 criminal investigators representing approximately 42 law enforcement agencies from the northeast region attended the conference, which included several nationally recognized speakers. Topics included crime scene management, domestic related homicides, and human decomposition and child death investigations.
The Homicide Unit Commander is Captain Melissa Hukill. Sergeant David Weaver brings 28 years of law enforcement experience to the unit. Detective Fred Chambers transferred out of the unit and was replaced by Detective Dan Grassi. In November 2015, Detective William Porter retired after 26 years of service with the Delaware State Police. His position was filled by Detective Mark Csapo. Administrative Assistant Debra Hughes also adds to create a cohesive unit, which is committed to clearing 100 percent of all death investigations.
As we move into 2016, the members of the Delaware State Police Homicide Section remains committed to serving the residents and visitors of our state with the highest quality of service possible. Unit members look forward to meeting the new challenges in crime fighting through continued and specialized training as well as the utilization of the latest advanced technology in forensics.
- Information obtained from 2015 DSP Annual Report -