Retired Detective Breathes Life Into Cold Cases - NBC4 Washington

Retired Detective Breathes Life Into Cold Cases

Bob Phillips works to solve murder mysteries



    Detective Breathes Life into Cold Cases

    Former Detective Bob Phillips reviews patterns and physical evidence to try and solve local murder mysteries. (Published Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010)

    Some of the worst crimes are the ones that are never solved at all.

    Cold cases and murder mysteries are especially haunting to the detectives who spend countless hours trying to figure them out.

    Not to mention the families who have survived without their loved ones and moved on without justice.

    Sgt. Bob Phillips, a retired detective with the Montgomery County Police Department has committed much of his time to try and bring closure to some of these decades-old cases.

    "I actually started before I retired in 2000. I took it upon myself to start reading them. "

    After he retired, he volunteered a couple of days a week to go through old case files. Eventually, the County got a grant to pay him for two days a week.

    Many of the cases involve murdered women.

    32-year old Dr. Le Bich Thuy was murdered on September 28th, 1994.

    Phillips was still a detective with the department and remembers what he saw when they finally found her body at her home in Rockville on October 3rd of that year.

    "I remember responding her that evening with Detective Drury and Detective Bond…she was not covered up but she just naturally sunk into this English Ivy and was hard to see," said Phillips.

    The retired detective looks for patterns and evidence and when he finds something, he passes it on to the two active duty Cold Case detectives.

    "I’ve continued to read all the open homicides that I can find. And I have branched out into rape cases, and we have hundreds of open rape cases," said Phillips.

    Phillips is also working on several open homicides of elderly women, one in the Bethesda area and one in the Silver Spring, 24 years ago.

    There are also the Lyon sisters from 1975. One was ten and the other was just 12-years old when they went missing while walking home from Wheaton Plaza.

    Despite the years that have gone by, Phillips says he isn't quitting.

    "I still enjoy it. I still have the desire, the energy…I have no thoughts at this point about not doing it."