Valdosta deaths stun the community -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Valdosta deaths stun the community

By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -  There were more murders in Valdosta in this one week alone than there have been in all of 2009.

Why are so many violent crimes happening all at once in Valdosta? That's the question many local residents are asking. Police are unsure but say summertime is often the busiest time of year.

"To tell you the truth it's scary," said Arthel Lewis. "'Cause you know I live here so Valdosta's my home so if anything happens here in Valdosta I feel like it could be closer to my house."

Police say these crimes are not random and all happened in different parts of town.

"They're not occurring in just one certain area," said Valdosta Police Cmdr. Brian Childress. "The other thing is you can attribute it to the recession. You could attribute it to the fact that school's out, a lot of different things."

Commander Childress says it's not uncommon for crimes to increase this time of the year. Area residents are concerned about the recent murders and while police can't exactly pinpoint why they occurred, they do know crime tends to spike in the summer.

Some say a lack of discipline is to blame. "Honestly, I think it started with the breakdown of the family and the breakdown on the discipline and the government taking away the parents right to discipline their children," said Brooks County resident Jana Grantham. 

If you do feel threatened, Police want you to contact them.

 "Call 911, if you're in an argument with someone or having a problem with somebody, the best thing to do is to let a third party resolve it before it escalates," said VPD Lt Bobbi McGraw.

In the 10 years she worked with the police department, says she's never seen a series of violent crimes like these, nor have the people who live in here.

In the murders of Dr. John Curtis and Brittany Wade, arrests and charges were made within hours.

Police say both were killed by someone they knew.

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