PHENIX CITY, Ala. (WRBL) – Nearly a dozen murders remain unsolved in Phenix City, and police are working to bring renewed interest in those cases.
11 murders remain unsolved since 2019 leaving 11 families without closure. Five of those are from 2019, five more went unsolved in 2020, and one 2021 murder remains unsolved.
Phenix City Police Captain Darryl Williams said this is one of the most frustrating parts of the job.
“It’s always frustrating for any investigator, first thing they’re always passionate about solving these crimes,” Williams said “It’s a person’s crime, it’s the most violent kind of crime that you can have, so for families to have closure it’s very imperative.”
With the recent uptick in violent crime in neighboring Columbus, Ga., investigators believe some of that violence has made it’s way into Phenix City.
“We do have a gang problem here in Phenix City, as well as Columbus has a serve gang problem. So it’s possible that some of these are connected with some of those over in Columbus.”
To keep up with these unsolved homicides, investigators are working on the newest cases and working their way back. Williams also has his investigators read over their case work from older unsolved cases to see if there is something they missed.
Williams said it’s critical for them to solve homicides within 48 hours after they’ve happened.
“The investigators work around the clock in order to process, obtain and debunk the information they get.”
Investigators aren’t the only ones who become frustrated when they can’t solve a case in the first 48 hours. Family members of the victims feel a wave of emotions until the preparator has been found.
“I do feel their frustration, I want to solve the cases as much as they want the cases solved. It puts an end to the case for us and it brings closure to the family and if you look at my board over there, all those families can contact me anytime they want they’ve got my number.”
The families of the 11 victims remain in contact with Williams to obtain any new information about their loved ones’ cases. Williams has a board in his office with the names of the 11 victims to remind him every day to try and bring closure to these families.
“I hear from all of them all the time. They’re constantly asking do you have any further information, do we have any updates and I don’t always have any good information to give them but I encourage them to call. To let them know that we haven’t forgotten about them.”
Williams is reaching out to those in Phenix City. He said if you have any information on a crime to please report it.
“Any information that the public has they can bring to us and we’ll defiantly look into it. We need to find it and the public is real important to us as far as solving these crimes.”