MOUNT VERNON — Since the arrest of Matthew Hoffman on kidnapping charges last week, FBI agent Harry Trombitas, who aided the Knox County Sheriff’s Office in the case, has received several inquiries about Hoffman.
Get audio from the press conferences, see images of the investigation and search, a map of key events and related stories.
“I have gotten a call or two,” Trombitas said. “One was from in state and one from out of state. It’s not so much that they suspected Hoffman was involved in their homicides but if we would develop any information that he might be involved in anything else to keep them in mind.”
Trombitas said the FBI has had something called the Violent Criminal Apprehension Program in place since the early 1980s. ViCAP maintains the largest investigative repository of major violent crime cases in the United States.
“It is a web-based data information center designed to collect and analyze information about homicides, sexual assaults, missing persons, and other violent crimes involving unidentified human remains,” Trombitas said. “The database compares information in an attempt to identify similar cases and help move investigations forward.”
ViCAP’s mission is to facilitate cooperation and coordination between law enforcement agencies and to provide support to those agencies in their efforts to apprehend and prosecute violent serial offenders, especially those who cross jurisdictional boundaries.
Trombitas said that since its creation by the Department of Justice in 1985, more than 4,000 law enforcement agencies have submitted cases to ViCAP, and there are currently over 82,000 cases in the database.
“Nearly 2,700 investigators and analysts are registered users of the system,” he added. “Together they forge a powerful nationwide network of professionals collaborating on a daily basis.”
Law enforcement agencies may obtain access to ViCAP’s database via a secure Internet link on the Law Enforcement Online network, by contacting the ViCAP unit at email@example.com, or by visiting www.leo.gov. Users can enter cases directly into ViCAP via the web and conduct queries on a real-time basis.