Who We Are

Ryan Backmann

Founder | Executive Director

Ryan was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. He began his professional career working in the architectural field as a draftsman, moving his way up to project management before tragedy changed his career path.

On October 10, 2009, Ryan’s father, Cliff Backmann, was shot and killed during a robbery in what remains one of Jacksonville’s 1,500+ unsolved murders.

After losing his dad, Ryan found a passion for helping others as a victim advocate, serving other families that had lost loved ones to homicide. That passion evolved as his dad’s case went cold and fell further and further from being solved. In the constant search for justice, Ryan began educating himself on all things cold case related. He traveled to a number of states to learn about successful cold case practices. Ryan has traveled to Washington D.C. on a number of occasions, including a trip in 2014 to speak at the National Press Club about the unknown total number of unsolved homicides in Florida and around the country. Most recently, along with other cold case advocates, Ryan spoke with advisers to both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committees recommending mandatory reporting of unsolved murders to the FBI for inclusion in the Uniform Crime Report. In 2015 Ryan started Project: Cold Case to advocate for, and publicize, cold cases while linking families, information and law enforcement. Years of working closely with Florida lawmakers and establishing relationships with law enforcement was instrumental in establishing a Florida Cold Case Advisory Commission and a statewide Cold Case Database.

Ryan has served on the Duval County Child Death Review Team, as well as Chair for the Jacksonville Mayor’s Victim Assistance Advisory Council, and completed the 2013 fall session of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Citizens’ Academy. Ryan is the only survivor/advocate on the Florida Sheriffs Association Cold Case Advisory Commission and a subject matter expert in cold case advocacy for the national SAKI TTA program. Ryan also serves as a board member for the Southeastern Homicide Investigators Association and as a Regional Coordinator for the Florida Crisis Response Team.

Ryan regularly provides training for advocates and law enforcement as well as informational presentations to schools, universities and civic groups. Ryan has been recognized by a number of agencies, organizations and publications for his work involving cold case advocacy.

Freda Washington-Perez

Victim Advocate

Freda is a veteran of the Navy, which brought her to Jacksonville in 2004. For the past decade she has aligned passions and focus on prospects toward community investment and advocating for victims’ rights. Her mission-focused disposition has allowed her opportunity to bring awareness while offering perspective for those affected by crime.

A graduate of University of North Florida, Freda majored in Criminal Justice. She has interned, volunteered, and worked at various local nonprofits, State Attorney’s Office, and Federal Probation. Freda has always looked for ways to elevate and balance her professional skills with targeted-goals: knowledge through experience. It was during an internship with local nonprofit Compassionate Families, which provided services to those impacted by homicide, that she first worked with Ryan and solidified her direction in advocacy. While working with families of homicide can be challenging, the impression of gratitude is mutually shared.

Freda enjoys nurturing her family, reading and playing the cello during her time away from the office.

clint richardson auburn uniform database

Clint Richardson

Marketing Coordinator

Clint Richardson was born and raised in Huntsville, Alabama. A 2017 graduate of Auburn University’s Harbert College of Business, Clint joined Project: Cold Case as our marketing coordinator. Clint manages our website, database, and social media accounts while also handing any special projects.

While at Auburn, Clint served on the Auburn University Fellowship of Christian Athletes Leadership Team and the Auburn Jungle Student Leadership Team. He also podcasts on the E2C Network, runs the Auburn Uniform Database, and has been published in the Auburn Plainsman and Uni-Watch.

Board of Directors

KBG_Headshots_Web_RichRichard Komando,  Board Chair – Rich, a private practice attorney, received his undergraduate degree from Florida State University in 1996 and his law degree from Loyola University New Orleans, School of Law in 1999.  He spent the next five years building a private law practice while working on civil, criminal, appellate, juvenile and international cases.  Leaving private practice, he accepted a position as the Circuit Director and later as the statewide General Counsel for the Guardian ad Litem Program for the Fourth Judicial Circuit.  In 2007, Rich completed his Masters of Business Administration at Florida State University. The next four years were spent working as a criminal prosecutor with the State Attorney’s Office serving as a Division Chief of the Special Prosecution Division and the Executive Director for the Fourth Judicial Circuit in Clay, Duval and Nassau counties.  He prosecuted cases ranging from misdemeanors to crimes involving the death penalty.  Rich is the past President of the Clay County Bar Association and a member of the Jacksonville Bar Association. He also serves on the Florida Bar Grievance Committee and was a past Board Chair of Jacksonville’s Mayor’s Victim Assistance Advisory Council.

LaTresaHeadshotLaTresa Henderson, Board Secretary – LaTresa is a victim advocate in Jacksonville, Florida with past experience as a Domestic Violence Advocate at Hubbard House and currently a Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Support Specialist/Civilian Victim Advocate at Fleet and Family Support Center, Naval Air Station Jacksonville. LaTresa also serves on the Duval County Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team and was recently awarded the Jacksonville Victim Advocate of the Year by the Mayor’s Victim Assistance Advisory Council.

AdamHeadshotAdam Schaffer Adam is a businessman and entrepreneur in Jacksonville, Florida. Adam is Founder, Creative Director and President of 5ivecanons Advertising Agency. His vision and dedication has helped bring local and national acclaim to the agency for consumer engagement campaigns, TV spots and geo-social/mobile check-in promotions.

DannyHeadshotDanny Greeson – Danny graduated from Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina in 1996 with BSBA in Marketing and is currently enrolled in the Executive MBA Program at Georgia Tech. Danny is currently CEO of AmeriQuote, Inc., a full service insurance agency specializing in term life insurance and final expense, in Atlanta, Georgia. Danny is a strong entrepreneur and business development expert in the interactive space. Danny enjoys executing on new ideas and technologies and specializes in idea generation, company creation, business development, operational strategies, online lead generation, call transfers, click-to-call, SMS, audience buying, demand generation, branding, affiliate marketing, technology innovation and creative design.

HobackHeadshotRyan Hoback – Ryan is a local business owner and entrepreneur in Jacksonville, Florida with experience in start-up branding, budgeting and growth. Ryan owns and operates a modern general store focused on Americana. Selling jellies, jams, sauces, handcrafted goods, yard art, local products, and raw honey & honeycomb. Ryan is known locally for his philanthropic deeds, including donating fruits, vegetables, sauces and prepared dishes to camps for local children affected by homicide.

Lorena InclanLorena Inclán – Lorena is a general assignment reporter and fill-in anchor for Action News Jax. She was born and raised in Miami to Cuban parents. Her passion for the news industry began in high school. She quickly realized the power of information and her love for telling a good story. Her drive and determination led her to the University of Miami where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Communication from its School of Communication. Lorena has reported on many important and powerful stories, including the sinking of the SS El Faro and the loss of its 33 crew members. She also spent three days aboard the USS Iwo Jima on its home-port shift from Norfolk, Virginia, to Jacksonville, FL. Lorena has developed a reputation for compassion, understanding and a willingness to help families affected by violent crime by sharing their stories.

Jim WilliamsJim Williams – Jim is recently retired from law enforcement after 27 years. During his time in law enforcement Jim was involved in long term investigations that ranged from property theft to homicides to narcotics organizations.  He was a Hostage Negotiator and part a team that assisted employees dealing with the after effects of high stress events.

Det. Jen Spears – Jen is an experienced homicide and cold case detective with the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office in central Florida. She has been a deputy since 1999, the majority of that time spent in criminal investigations serving in a variety of assignments. Jen has collaborated with numerous agencies around the nation through her casework and has received several accolades for her accomplishments in cold case investigations. Jen also serves on the Florida Sheriff’s Association Cold Case Advisory Commission and is president of the Southeastern Homicide Investigators Association.

Jen, as lead detective, and her team recently solved two central Florida cold cases. In March 2019 the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office announced an arrest in the 1984 murder of Navy recruit Pamela Cahanes. Just a few months later, in May 2019 they made an arrest in the 1986 murder of Eve Aguilar. Defendants in both cases are awaiting trial.

In accordance with federal law and U.S. Department of Justice policy, this organization is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write the Florida Department of Legal Affairs, Federal Discrimination Complaint Coordinator, PL-01 The Capitol, Tallahassee, Florida, 32399-1050, or call 850-414-3300, or write Office for Civil Rights, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, 810 7th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20531 or call 202-307-0690 (Voice) or 202-307-2027 (TDD/TYY). Individuals who are hearing impaired or have speech disabilities may also contact OCR through the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339 (TTY), 877-877-8982 (Speech), or 800-845-6136 (Spanish).