Police continue to investigate leads in 2013's unsolved murders - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Police continue to investigate leads in 2013's unsolved murders

Posted: Updated:
COLUMBUS, Ga. -

Investigators are still looking to make an arrest in the Thursday night shooting of David Scott. The case is one of many with questions left to be answered.

There have been 16 homicides in Columbus this year, but only 11 of them are considered cleared. Police say the remaining five are still actively being investigated, while the killers remain on the loose.

The five homicides of 2013 that have not been considered solved are on the constantly growing list of active investigations.

More than 100 people attended a vigil for Scott Sunday night, and they're calling for action from authorities, but Major Stan Swiney says sometimes finding a killer takes time.

"You look at everyone who has the possibility of being involved," says Swiney. "You've got motive, method and opportunity, and anyone who fits those categories is going to be looked at and investigated."

The 2011 murder of Steve Toms took more than a year to solve, but investigators were actively following leads. They finally apprehended Michael Jerome Johnson in July.

Swiney says, "Sometimes it's a dead end. Sometimes you lose a suspect and develop another as you do your investigation. It's just a matter of, follow your lead until its logical conclusion then find another lead."

Major Gene Hillhouse adds, "Bottom line is, we keep somebody on all homicides as long as it takes. They're never forgotten, they're never closed down."

If the leads run out, however, it becomes a cold case. The cold case unit of the Columbus Police Department consists of three investigators under Major Hillhouse.

They have about 75 cases dating back as far as 1973. Each file is reviewed periodically for new information, and sometimes it pays off.

DNA evidence pinned Kareem Lane as former school superintendent Jim Burns's killer 18 years after the 1992 murder.

"It was changes in technology and those kinds of things that helped us do that," says Swiney, "and murders is one of those cases that are never closed."

Hillhouse says, "There's experts available that wasn't available 20 years ago that have different backgrounds, different training, that's able to give expert opinions on the meanings of different things."

Jessi Mitchell

Jessi joined the WRBL news team in October 2012 after working as a freelance production assistant for MTV Networks in Los Angeles.
More>>

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Server receives $10,000 tip

    Server receives $10,000 tip

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 11:52 AM EDT2014-07-23 15:52:59 GMT
    A Louisiana server received the tip of a lifetime.A Louisiana server received the tip of a lifetime.
    A Louisiana server received the tip of a lifetime.
    A Louisiana server received the tip of a lifetime.
  • LaGrange police looking for woman in hit-and-run case

    LaGrange police looking for woman in hit-and-run case

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 11:15 AM EDT2014-07-22 15:15:02 GMT
    Police need your help identifying this womanPolice need your help identifying this woman
    LaGrange Police need your help identifying a woman.
    LaGrange Police need your help identifying a woman.
  • 18 arrested so far in Anderson County drug roundup

    18 arrested so far in Anderson County drug roundup

    Eighteen people have been arrested so far as part of a round up in Anderson County after a grand jury returned indictments on 26 people on drug charges.
    Eighteen people have been arrested so far as part of a round up in Anderson County after a grand jury returned indictments on 26 people on drug charges.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Couple arrested for having sex on Cortez Beach in front of beachgoers

    Couple arrested for having sex on Cortez Beach in front of beachgoers

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 1:08 PM EDT2014-07-22 17:08:35 GMT
    Bradenton Beach police officers were dispatched to Cortez Beach after a few people called 911 and complained about a couple having sex publicly, right next to a little girl on the beach.
    Bradenton Beach police officers were dispatched to Cortez Beach after a few people called 911 and complained about a couple having sex publicly, right next to a little girl on the beach.
  • Sheriff's Office showcases "Faces of Meth" program as a lesson to all

    Sheriff's Office showcases "Faces of Meth" program as a lesson to all

    Monday, July 21 2014 11:33 AM EDT2014-07-21 15:33:26 GMT
    Faces of Meth™ is a project of the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office in Oregon. This project began when a deputy in the Corrections Division Classification Unit, Deputy Bret King, put together mug shots of persons booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center. Deputy King worked with his co-workers in the Classification Unit to identify people who had been in custody more than once. He then worked to verify criminal records and files to determine and assure a history of methamphetamine re...
    Faces of Meth™ is a project of the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office in Oregon. This project began when a deputy in the Corrections Division Classification Unit, Deputy Bret King, put together mug shots of persons booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center. Deputy King worked with his co-workers in the Classification Unit to identify people who had been in custody more than once. He then worked to verify criminal records and files to determine and assure a history of methamphetamine re...
  • Boy, 8, bitten by shark in knee-deep water in Brevard

    Boy, 8, bitten by shark in knee-deep water in Brevard

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 8:52 AM EDT2014-07-23 12:52:24 GMT
    Aadyn Crick. Image courtesy WESHAadyn Crick. Image courtesy WESH
    An Indiana boy, 8, on vacation in Central Florida with his family, got bitten by a shark, WESH reported.
    An Indiana boy, 8, on vacation in Central Florida with his family, got bitten by a shark, WESH reported.
  • On Your SideMore>>

  • Health Watch: Event planned to honor 2 year old Leukemia/stroke survivor

    Health Watch: Event planned to honor 2 year old Leukemia/stroke survivor

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 11:38 PM EDT2014-07-24 03:38:43 GMT
    A 2 year old Columbus boy is battling his way back from two bouts with leukemia and a stroke so severe doctors gave up on him.Patrick Kenyon is Jason’s father. He says despite the medical challenges, his family feels blessed. He says for the second time Jason is in remission. His big sister is the perfect bone marrow match for Jason, and he survived a major stroke when doctors wanted to send him to die.“The motor func...
    A 2 year old Columbus boy is battling his way back from two bouts with leukemia and a stroke so severe doctors gave up on him.Patrick Kenyon is Jason’s father. He says despite the medical challenges, his family feels blessed. He says for the second time Jason is in remission. His big sister is the perfect bone marrow match for Jason, and he survived a major stroke when doctors wanted to send him to die.“The motor func...
  • 3 new members elected to Muscogee County BOE

    3 new members elected to Muscogee County BOE

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 5:47 PM EDT2014-07-23 21:47:36 GMT
    After a major upset victory on the Muscogee County school board, newly elected member John Thomas is looking forward to the future by helping students across the district. In a 80-20 landslide, a political newcomer soundly defeated John Wells, who has served on the school board for 28 years.
    After a major upset victory on the Muscogee County school board, newly elected member John Thomas is looking forward to the future by helping students across the district. In a 80-20 landslide, a political newcomer soundly defeated John Wells, who has served on the school board for 28 years.
  • LaGrange police looking for stabbing suspects

    LaGrange police looking for stabbing suspects

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 9:20 AM EDT2014-07-23 13:20:04 GMT
    News 3 CrimewatchNews 3 Crimewatch
    Police need your help finding the suspects who attacked and stabbed a man in LaGrange.
    Police need your help finding the suspects who attacked and stabbed a man in LaGrange.
Powered by WorldNow

1430 East Victory Drive
Savannah, GA 31404

Telephone: 912.651.0300
Fax: 912.651.0320
Email: newsemailalert@wsav.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.