The Plymouth Cold Case Unit (PCCU) investigates unsolved missing persons cases.
Our mission is to uncover new evidence which can be used by the police to solve these cases while giving students experience and skills – including investigative, analytical and social – to launch them into rewarding careers.
We are a student-led, expert-guided group with international connections and access to facilities and training at both the University of Plymouth and Locate International.
Our work gives families of missing people comfort from knowing their loved ones have not been forgotten.
Become an investigator
For me it's about helping the families of missing people to know that their cases have not been forgotten and to remember that, hopefully, they can get their resolution.
BSc (Hons) Criminology with Foundation
The power of the collective mind
How do you solve a case where the only evidence is a blurry photograph, a timestamp on a line of text, or a single item of clothing?
To work a cold case, we need to look at problems with fresh eyes and from all angles.
That is why we value input from a wide range of disciplines – not only subjects directly related to investigation, like criminology, law and policing, but also those that attract the creative and analytically minded, such as English, history and music. We harness our team’s eclectic skills to reveal missed details and yield unexpected insights.
Students from across the
School of Society and Culture can join the PCCU, and we welcome collaboration beyond the School and University.
Case of focus: Salcombe Man
On 23 September 2021, a man's body was recovered from the English Channel, 46 miles South West of Salcombe, Devon. Among the few clues to his identity are the clothes he was wearing: a wetsuit, gloves, shoes and socks. Until he can be identified, he is being referred to as 'Salcombe Man'.
Our aim is to gather any information and evidence that may help us to discover who Salcombe Man is and find any family or friends he may have. Locate International has also launched a public appeal for information on the case.
Join us to help solve this cold case.