Mark Pucci, retired NYPD detective and current Founder/Chief Investigator of New York Private Detective Services (New York) and Guardian Angel Investigations (Nevada), announces the formation of a new 501(c)3 nonprofit, The National Institute for Law and Justice (NILJ). NILJ provides free management of investigative services for crime victims, their families and loved ones who are searching for answers, resolution, and closure, for matters involving:
· Recent and cold case homicide investigations
· Wrongful death investigations
· Misclassified deaths (suicides, accidental) investigations
· Abduction/Human Trafficking investigations
· Missing persons investigations
· Missing, murdered indigenous women/children (MMIW) investigations
· Residential Schools (criminal, forensic, recovery, and reconstruction) investigations
All investigative services performed at no cost to the victims, the victim’s families, or loved ones.
Founder/President & CEO Mark Pucci, is no stranger to investigating this wide array of cases/investigations. As a highly decorated, retired NYPD Detective and private sector investigator with more than 25 years’ experience, Pucci has seen countless families struggle to financially afford additional private investigative services when leads dry up and law enforcement agencies (nationwide) discontinue their investigations due to workload/manpower shortages, budgetary restrictions, lack of available investigative resources, or in certain extreme instances, reach inaccurate or misclassified investigative conclusions.
Experts estimate that, based on FBI Uniform Crime Report Data, our nation currently has 250,000 unsolved murders, a number that increases by about 6,000 each year. This persistently growing number of unsolved cases means ever-increasing caseloads, which continue to drain already insufficient resources and ultimately results in higher costs for agencies with already limited budgets.
“Since retiring from the NYPD, I’ve volunteered a large portion of my time (pro-bono) helping families who are desperate to find closure regarding the fate of their loved ones,” Pucci said. “And believe me when I say, you can’t even begin to imagine the almost endless line of families lined up behind those families whom I’ve been fortunate enough to help thus far. NILJ effectively creates the opportunity for the funding of these vital investigations to shift from the individual… to the Institute.”
To lead the organization, Mark Pucci is joined by co-founder and co-chair Kiersten Parsons Hathcock, a non-traditional investigative specialist and founder/CEO Mod Mom Furniture—an internationally-known furniture company featured on ABC TV’s Shark Tank and co-chair Amanda Kristinat, an award-winning CFO & COO of Arizona-based nonprofit, Moonshot.
In addition to its investigative mission, NILJ is committed to helping family members begin to heal from the trauma inflicted by the loss of a loved one. An example of this, in cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women, children and relatives, the nonprofit honors traditions, practices and ceremonies specific to each tribal nation. Traditional Indigenous Sciences and Practitioners are utilized during and after investigations to help promote healing.
Regarding NILJ’s initiative involving the investigation of missing and murdered Indigenous women, children and relatives, The U.S Department of Justice found that Native American women face murder rates that are more than 10 times the national average. (National Crime Information Center (2018). Federal Bureau of Investigation)
In addition to NILJ’s network of investigative specialists, Indigenous ambassadors within tribal nations throughout the US are committed to the mission. One such example is Arizona-based NILJ board member and ambassador Jeneda Benally, Navajo Dine’ spokesperson, musician and human rights activist featured on NPR, NBC, and many other national news outlets.
Pucci tapped founding NILJ board member Macie Huwiler, a seasoned nonprofit executive and fundraiser with a 30-year career in the television industry working for CBS and the A&E Television Networks, to lead fundraising efforts. Outreach will begin this month.
Families and law enforcement agents/agencies requesting help can apply for investigative services at NILJ(dot)org. Applications are open to the public (US only) and do not require any financial disclosure. After receiving an application, the NILJ team reviews each case and will assess next steps based on information provided by the applicant.
“Thankfully, a great many of my professional colleagues (current/former state/federal law enforcement, former special forces/military, search/rescue, forensics, and non-traditional investigative specialists) with whom I currently work with nationwide, are just as passionate about helping these families as I am, and are ready to hit the ground running,” Pucci said. “Through NILJ, we are all committed to helping these families get to the bottom of what happened to their loved ones, with the ultimate goal of seeking justice and when possible, closure as well.”
About the National Institute for Law and Justice
The National Institute for Law and Justice (NILJ) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization founded in 2022 in Nevada, USA by retired NYPD Detective Mark Pucci. NILJ’s mission is to provide management of investigative services for crime victims and their families who are searching for answers, resolution, and closure at no cost. For more information, visit nilj (dot) org.