Huntsville murders on track with last year - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Huntsville murders on track with last year

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According to Sgt. Jerry King, HPD have an 80 percent clearance rate on homicide cases. According to Sgt. Jerry King, HPD have an 80 percent clearance rate on homicide cases.

So far in 2012, Huntsville has had eight homicides; five remain unsolved.

It took just days to solve the murder of 17-year-old Damon Groce, who was shot in the head and killed during an apparent drive-by on Eastbrook Drive on September 15.

The major crimes unit took over the case and in days arrested Rodney Jones Jr. and Jessica Martin for the murder.

"We had a lot of things happen fast in that investigation that was coming in to turn into to some really good leads," said Sgt. Jerry King, the head of homicide for HPD.

However, leads can be hard to come by.

"In most cases, our best witness is the deceased, so we lose the piece of the puzzle right there," added King.

Police have to rely on evidence or that one person in the community coming forward to help solve it.

The city of Huntsville averages about 15 homicides a year. In 2011, there were 13 homicides in Huntsville; two remain unsolved.

"This year, we are about in the same place we were last year, so we hope to continue so we just never know. These things come out of the woodwork, and you don't know rhyme or reason of why people do what they do," said King.

According to King, Huntsville Police have an 80 percent clearance rate on homicide cases. That's 20 percent higher than the national average.

Out of the five unsolved murders this year, one is the murder of 20-year-old Isis Pitts. She was a young, vibrant student at Alabama A&M. Her life was cut short back in July one night when a fight broke out next to the Benchwarmer and someone shot into a crowd.

A month before, the body of Delois Lightford was discovered in her home on Maggie Avenue. She was shot twice in the back.

"I'm really confident that we will see a closure to all of them this year," King responded when asked about solving these unsolved cases.

Remember, these killers are still out there, still walking the streets, so if you have any information, call Huntsville Police.

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