January 23, 2008 Albany -- South Georgia has had four homicides in the first four weeks of the year. It's drawing concern among south Georgia's law enforcers.
They're calling it an alarming trend. A trend they say that's fueled by drugs and domestic violence. Three of the four cases remain unsolved and now investigators say they need the public's help.
In Lee County, investigators patiently await DNA evidence to produce leads in south Georgia's latest homicide, the stabbing death of 82-year-old Arthur Mosley.
"It's unusual at best, that we have a homicide in Lee County," said Lee County Chief Deputy Dennis Parker.
It's only their sixth in 20 years. In Albany, where they've had two homicides to start off 2008, after 12 murders last year, they hope a different approach, might give police a better idea about what's causing these crimes.
"The strategy that we are going at now is trying to break down all of our assault into categories, domestic, different types of gang, if it's gang related, stranger on stranger, acquaintances, so we can see if there's a pattern," says Albany Police Lt. Kendra Wilson.
What law enforcers do know is that two factors lead to 90 percent of the murder's they're investigating.
"It's either drug related or domestic related, that's just about anywhere you go, that's just the two factors that come into play," Parker said.
That may not have been the case in 16-year-old Antwon Luke's death or 52-year-old John Barbre's death in Albany, but help from the community could lead an arrest. In Barbre's case, police are sure someone saw something that could help their investigation.
"Only one phone call can help, you call in you don't have to give your name, you don't have to give your information, just tell us what you know," says Wilson.
The GBI hopes someone may do the same in Dawson where they continue to pursue cold leads in the death of 68-year-old landlord Lucius Buchanan.
In Albany, police hope this is the beginning of the end, and say if people would only stop and think before they react it might bring homicide numbers down.
Law enforcers say homicides caused by drugs and domestic violence are often the hardest to combat. While they can target drugs on the street, they say it's tough to be in everyone's home to prevent a domestic violence situation from escalating.
Here's a list of the 2007 homicides in Albany-
March 14th - Jack Camp
Apr. 23rd - Demetrius Vicks
Apr. 28th - George Ponder
May 10th - Terrence Bowen
June 18th - Antonio Daniels
June 24th - Latoya Brentley
Aug. 22nd - Jessica Acres
Sept. 24th - Norma Faircloth
Oct. 3rd - Justin Cox
Oct. 22nd- Willie Wright
Nov. 4th - Timothy Murray
Nov. 29th - Jeffrey Todd
Nov. 29th - Jimmy Teemer- Ruled Justifiable Homicide (killed by Todd in self-defense)