The reach of a newspaper is not what it once was, so when the Toledo Blade set out on a mission to help police solve unsolved murders in the Ohio city, it turned not only to its own pages but also a new true-crime podcast series. Code: 18: Unsolved launches with a story about a man missing for the past three years.
Alvin Edwin Darrow Jr. is not officially considered a homicide victim by police, the paper points out, but rather a missing person because neither he nor his body were ever found. So he hasn’t been a so-called “Code 18,” the term Toledo police use to designate the discovery of a dead body or when someone has died. But the last time he was seen was in July 2017. Yet detectives say his disappearance is suspicious and they believe he was likely the victim of foul play.
The Blade’s podcast Code: 18: Unsolved retells the story and hopes the attention will help crack the case. It is one of nearly 400 unsolved homicides in Toledo dating back to 1950, and the paper says it will pick one cold case and re-examine what facts are known each season with help from the police department.
“We’re looking for anything that may have been missed or withheld as we carefully piece together a victim’s last known moments and try to make sense of the gap between life and death,” said host Kaitlin Durbin, a reporter at the Blade. The newspaper will also post additional case information, including photos and videos on its website.
Code 18 is produced in-house at The Blade. Phil Kaplan is the producer, with original art and music by Danielle Gamble. Additional music is provided by Joel Roberts. Editing assistance comes from Michael Walton, Michael Brice and Kim Bates.