header image with the American flag, Miami Gardens police Department patch, and three police motorcycles

Homicide Unit


Homicide Investigators respond and thoroughly investigate all violent crimes committed in the City of Miami Gardens. Investigators respond to all Death Cases, which include Homicides, Suicides, Accidentals, Unclassified, Traffic Homicides, and some Naturals when needed. This is to insure that the highest quality of investigation is afforded to the citizens of the City of Miami Gardens and that all critical evidence (physical or verbal) is gathered and processed in a timely manner, which will bring about a positive result, to the case being investigated.


The Unit’s objective is to thoroughly investigate the manner and cause of death, and if a homicide, to arrest the offender and ensure a successful prosecution. Traffic Fatalities are investigated to determine the cause and of the accident, and if determined cite the violator.

Unit Command Staff

Acting Sergeant Joseph Zellner

Frequently Asked Questions

1. When does an unsolved case become a cold case?
When all leads have been completed and exhausted it is typically named a cold case. The original investigator keeps the case, continues reviewing the leads, and explores other avenues to develop new leads. The case is never abandoned. If the original investigator leaves the homicide unit, the supervisor will review the case and assign it to another investigator who will rework all previous leads.

2. Can a reward be offered by family members or from outside funding?
Yes, Crime Stoppers offers up to $3,000 for homicide information. Additional funds can be added to the reward amount and will be coordinated by Crime Stoppers.

3. Can someone call in a tip and remain completely anonymous?
Yes, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS (8477). All calls will remain anonymous.

4. Is there a victim advocate that will assist the victim’s family with funeral service and other benefits?

Yes, our victim advocate unit will be in contact with the next of kin the following day to assist with the application process to receive financial and psychological services for survivors. The advocates guide the family from start to finish with the application process.

5. Why are family members not allowed to enter the crime scene of a homicide of a family member?
The ultimate goal of the homicide investigation is to identify, arrest, and convict the offender. Nonessential persons allowed into the crime scene diminishes the integrity of the scene and investigative efforts. This negatively affects the investigative efforts in Court proceedings, and will affect the ultimate goal of a successful prosecution.


Acting Sergeant Joseph Zellner
Phone: 305-474-1622
Email: [email protected]
Address: 18611 NW 27 Avenue, Miami Gardens, FL 33056