'Code of silence' hindering investigations and trials in Columbu - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

'Code of silence' hindering investigations and trials in Columbus

(Source: Sharifa Jackson/WTVM) (Source: Sharifa Jackson/WTVM)

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The amount of murders in Columbus has been a hot topic over the past year.

While the numbers continued to rise in 2017, police are working harder than ever to solve these cases.

But investigators say often times, it is difficult to get witnesses to talk from fear of retaliation. 

Out of the 35 murders, according to Mayor Teresa Tomlinson's count, only a little over half has resulted in an arrest.

This statistic is largely due to the unspoken 'code of silence' in many neighborhoods. Whether it's from threats, intimidation, or fear, people are not speaking to police.

"I know we are having problems with the murders in this town. A lot of it is retaliation, witnesses unwilling to cooperate, and unwilling to testify," said Defense Attorney, Jennifer Curry.

This trickle-down effect was even seen in the courtrooms. Hindering some trials.

"People know that they are going to have to come in and testify, they change their minds, they disappear. We are out in the middle of the night looking for them, they are not where they are supposed to be, it makes a huge difference," said Curry.

Without public's help, police say it's hard to crack many of these cases.

Columbus police urge anyone with information about current investigations to contact them at (706) 653-3500.

Remember, you can always remain anonymous by contacting local crime stoppers.

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