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This unit investigates all crimes against persons including child abuse, aggravated assault, homicide, missing persons and suspicious deaths. This unit is also responsible for cold case review and investigation along with other matters pertaining to violent crime.

Child Abuse

In 1984 five-year-old Adam Walsh, son of John Walsh host of “Americans Most Wanted” was abducted, tortured and subsequently killed. This case opened a “Pandora’s box” for Law Enforcement and our nation as a whole. The grim reality was that our nation possessed few laws for the protection of children and law enforcement had no investigative protocol to begin the process of investigation. John Walsh pressed for legislative change and thus created a nationwide mandated comprehensive plan. Tennessee adopted the plan, which states that law enforcement and Department of Children Services (DCS) will intervene, protect and investigate all suspicions of child abuse.

Cases of child abuse are investigated by this unit and handled through a team approach with the Child Advocacy Center and Tennessee’s Child Protective Services. The reporting of known child abuse cases is mandatory in the state of Tennessee and you may report these cases to your local law enforcement agency or Tennessee’s Child Protective Services 24 hour hotline.

Department of Children Services (DCS) 24-Hour Hotline (423) 266-0162

Hamilton County Sheriff's Office (423) 622-0022

Criminal Investigation Division (423) 209-8940

If you have further questions or need additional information please call your local Law Enforcement agency.

Missing Persons

Cases involving missing persons and runaways are currently investigated by this unit. To obtain a petition on a runaway juvenile one must have first reported runaway to their local law enforcement agency. Petition must then be issued by Hamilton County Juvenile Court. Juvenile court may be contacted at (423) 209-5100 or (423) 209-5160.

Suspicious Deaths, Homicide and Violent Crime

This unit investigates all violent crimes and deaths of a suspicious nature in the unincorporated area of Hamilton County. Further, they provide support to incorporated areas of Hamilton County when requested. Many natural deaths, suicides and accidental deaths must be worked as a suspicious death until the cause of death can be determined by the Hamilton County Medical Examiner. These cases are worked using a team approach with a member of the Crimes Against Persons Unit being designated as case agent. Cases determined to be homicides, are also worked in this manner as all homicides begin as a suspicious death until the ruling.


Criminal Investigation Division
6233 Dayton Blvd.
Chattanooga, TN 37343
Phone: (423) 209-8940
Fax: (423) 209-8878
Email: investigations@hcsheriff.gov


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©2014 Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office

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