Law officers in Cordele are trying to track down a hit man. They believe a 2011 murder was a professional kill and while the gunman is now convicted of murder, his accomplice remains free.
And one thing that helped in this murder conviction was surveillance video. Prosecutors say it could aid in a couple of unsolved murders in the city of Cordele, but first, people must come forward.
Following a week long murder trial Varocus Grant is heading to prison, sentenced to life plus five years for the murder of 30-year-old Travis Shivers.
District Attorney Denise Fachini says Grant and an unidentified man stalked Shivers in the days leading up to his murder. His children were inside a nearby apartment when he was ambushed in October 2011, shot four times.
"It appeared to be a hit. He was sitting on the hood of his mother-in-laws car. He was chatting through an open window with his neighbor about a football game that was on. He clearly was stalked and targeted," Fachini says.
Surveillance video from local stores and city cameras played a role in identifying Grant. And while the second gunman remains at large, at least three murders in the city remain unsolved.
"There is a similarity to some degree in that what we can tell are products of greed, breaking in homes," said Fachini.
In July someone shot 39-year-old Alfonzo Smith to death through the back door of his West 18th Avenue Home. No arrests have been in that case.
And most recently 39-year-old Cynthia Curtis was found shot to death November 12th inside her 23rd Street Apartment. In a city noted for its surveillance cameras, police released housing authority surveillance of two men near the scene of crime they want to question.
In each case robbery appears to be the motive. "It doesn't appear anyone got anything from these attempts, so they were futile, we have a lost life, and we have someone out there who is ultimately going to be charged with murder," said Fachini.
While GBI and Cordele Police continue to work these cases, it's ultimately up to people in the public Fachini says to come forward with information that could help put those killers behind bars.
Coming up in February 26-year-old Michael Davis Junior will stand trial for the stabbing death of a 16-year-old Cordele boy. One common in just about every violent crime Fachini says she sees in the city, is the perpetrators are usually young.
And if you have any information about the murder of Travis Shivers or the unsolved homicides in Cordele contact the GBI in Americus at 229-931-2439.