As someone who is not a member of law enforcement, I have an interest in possibly investigating unsolved crimes and cold cases near me, including missing persons. I am in Michigan, in case jurisdiction would play a large role in the answer.
Is it legal for me to do so without informing the local authorities? By "investigate" I mean reviewing evidence, interviewing witnesses, and looking for new evidence.
I understand there are likely a lot of factors to consider (especially since I would not have any legal authority to trespass while looking for evidence or harass witnesses). And I also understand it is likely discouraged by LE for safety reasons.
Would it simply come down to I can do anything I want as long as I don't break any laws?
Bonus Question: Is it possible to legally access original case files or online forensic databases (fingerprints, DNA, etc).