Houston HIDTA and Police Department

From Disappearance to Homicide - a Cold Case Reopened and Solved with GeoTime

The Case

Three-year-old Kendrick Jackson was reported missing in 2006 by his father, Roderick Fountain, a parolee with a violent criminal past. Fountain, the initial suspect, claimed he was home before and after the disappearance, and that the boy walked out of the apartment without his knowledge. Cell phone records showed a different story, but lacking additional evidence, the case came to a halt.

The Challenge

With the missing child case passed back to Houston Police as a homicide investigation, a new lead surfaced in 2011. A jailhouse informant came forward, saying Fountain admitted killing his son and dumping the body. This allowed authorities to bring the case to trial.

How GeoTime Helped

In 2006, the cell phone records were analyzed over two days, mapping 200 cell sites to show Fountain’s travel patterns. In 2011 for the trial, GeoTime software showed the same data and produced the same map within minutes, not days.

GeoTime’s video presentation tool allowed for a 36-hour snapshot to be presented in detail in an easy-to-follow, 17-minute video.

GeoTime Features Used

  • Glimpse Offline for automated data formatting
  • Event annotations
  • Playback of timeline of events
  • Video and PowerPoint presentation

The Result

The jury could clearly see how the prosecution laid out its case, and had asked to review the video again during deliberations. Within hours, they convicted Fountain of life in prison for the murder of his son.

Screenshot - 3D analysis that shows suspects 1 and 2 meeting

“When the data [is put into the 3D software] and fits with the prosecution’s case and doesn’t fit with the defendant’s alibi, it’s a powerful weapon in the conviction process.”

-Ryan Volkmer, project director, Houston HIDTA

Featured in Law and Order Magazine, November 2012 issue.