The city of Tacoma will hire a third-party investigator to conduct a review of the Zina Linnik abduction and murder investigation. City officials made the announcement on May 17. Mark Simpson is a consultant who specializes in child abductions. He retired from Arlington Police Department in Texas in 2007, after 32 years of service. Among the cases he has worked on was the 1996 abduction and murder of Amber Hageman in Arilngton. The case led to the development of the Amber Alert.
Tacoma Police Department is facing criticism of how it handled the Linnik case. The 12-year-old girl was kidnapped near her Hilltop home on July 4, 2007. At the time only one department employee, Mark Fulghum, was authorized to issue an Amber Alert. He was called at his home, while asleep, by detectives that evening and asked to issue the alert. Fulghum went back to sleep for several hours before issuing the alert.
Cost of the investigation is to be determined. Funding will come from Tacoma City Council’s contingency fund.