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Homicides in Columbus down in 2019; police ask for help to solve cases

Deputy Chief Timothy Becker, who oversees the Major Crimes Bureau, also discusses CPD's plan to reduce violence for 2020.

One-hundred and four deaths in Columbus this year have been classified as homicides.

Columbus police and the families of those victims want people to remember those numbers represent.

“To see his name on the list of all the homicides. I just never thought my baby would have been on there,” Keeandra Brown said.

It's only been a month since Brown lost her son, Brenden. He was shot and killed near Shady Lane Elementary School. Police have not arrested anyone yet.

“We want justice for my son and to make sure that no other family has to endure this. This is hell,” Brown said.

Homicides in the city of Columbus are down so far this year, compared to the past two years. There were 104 in 2019, 115 in 2018, and a high of 152 in 2017.

“Every one of those numbers represents a name,” Columbus Police Deputy Chief Tim Becker said.

Becker says Columbus police have made several changes to try to bring justice to those families.

“Most cases are solved through cooperative witnesses and old fashioned investigative work,” Becker said.

Columbus police solve just under 60 percent of the homicides in the city each year.

They have added detectives who work on digital forensics, like phones.

They have also added to their gun crimes unit to get illegal guns off the streets, and they are sending cases that haven't been solved in a year to the cold case unit in hopes that new eyes will help bring an arrest.

Becker says the easiest way to solve these violent crimes is with information from neighbors.

“We need your help. In just the past three years, we have 150 unsolved homicides,” Becker said.

A sentiment echoed by victim's families.

“We just want justice,” Jaleesa Moss said.

Her nephew, Jamareil Caldwell, was killed last year. Police are still looking for his killer.

She's asking for answers, and argues if you were in her shoes, you would want others to come forward with information.

“It could be any day, it could be you. One wrong step, a missed bullet and it could be you,” Moss said.

Columbus police say even if you don't feel comfortable calling them, you can Crime Stoppers anonymously and give information.