SCMPD, families ask for community help to solving 20 of last year's homicides

(Source: WTOC)
(Source: WTOC)
(Source: WTOC)
(Source: WTOC)
(Source: WTOC)
(Source: WTOC)
(Source: WTOC)
(Source: WTOC)

CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - Police and victim's family members are begging for the community's help to solve 20 of last year's unsolved homicides.

Those killers are free on the streets and families of victims are pleading for justice.

Police not only want all of these violent criminals off the streets, but they also want closure for these families.

"Ricky was the kind of son that every mother should have. He was a mentor and friend to everyone," said Brenda Johnson Curtis.

Ricardo Morris is just one face of the dozens of unsolved murder cases in Chatham County. Morris was gunned down in July of 2015. A year and a half later, no one has been held accountable for the crime.

"Anyone that can hurt Ricky, and don't feel nothing, we need to get them off the streets," said Curtis.

Brenda Curtis got the call every parent dreads after police found her son shot to death in the street. Now - she prays for another call - one telling her of an arrest.

"I pray every day that call comes. That's one of the first things I do in the morning and the last thing I do at night," said Curtis.

For police, it's just one homicide on a growing list, a list that grew by 50 just this past year.

"When you have multiple open cases it is tough to balance them but you just have to understand that when the work is there and when tips are coming in, you have to be able to stay up and work them," said SCMPD Violent Crimes Detective Zachary Burdette.

A major roadblock in solving crimes is the lack of community's help. Savannah's residents—like those in many other cities struggling with violent crime—haven't shaken the fear of retaliation.

"We do our best to try to explain to the community that we're here to help. We're just trying to figure out who did this and we need tips to come in and we need people to talk to us," said Burdette.

Those tips go a long way in solving crimes with very few witnesses. The public's help is not just appreciated; it's necessary.

"We have a lot of violent crime here and without the public's assistance, we can't get the perpetrators," said Burdette.

For mothers like Curtis, those tips are their only hope to moving forward.

"I truly lost a part of my heart that will never be healed. We need peace and we need justice. And we need to be healed. We need healing," said Curtis.

It's healing that police are dedicated to providing but can only give with help from the people living here.

If you have any information on any murder case, Burdette says police will talk with you in a safe location outside of your home.

You can also always call the metro tip line or CrimeStoppers and remain anonymous.

In the 30 cases police have closed, they arrested 36 people. That leaves 40 percent unsolved. That is right around the national average.

Officers also made arrests last year in eight cases from 2015.

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