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LPD Speaks on Unsolved Homicides

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LAWTON Okla_ As we move into the New Year, Lawton police have some unfinished business to attend to: the investigations of three unsolved homicides from 2013.

2013 ended with a total of 14 homicides. That's down three from 17 in 2012, which was one of the worst years on record. Although there's no explanation from police as to why the number of people killing other people fluctuates each year, they're focused on keeping a heavy patrol in danger spots and bringing justice to the families and loved ones of the victims.

35-year-old Sarah McCoy 26-year old and mother of six, Shallaina Jackson and 22-year-old Michael Elix are the victims of the three unsolved homicides.

"[McCoy] was found dead in her house from a gunshot wound," Lawton Police Captain Craig Akard said. "[Jackson] was found lying in the street, and she had been stabbed numerous times. [Elix] came to answer the door and when the door was opened, somebody shot him."

The killers of those three victims have not yet been brought to justice; their investigation still open and ongoing.

"Every lead has been exhausted to this point," Akard said.

Akard said each homicide is unfortunate, but following national trends, the crimes don't appear to be slowing down. 

"It appears the homicide rate across the whole nation, not just in Lawton, is on the rise," Akard said.

Over the past five years, there has been a jump into double digit homicide numbers, and although this year is lower than last, it's still more than Akard has seen in a majority of his 29 years with the department.

"Used to be, if you come across a gun, that was few and far between," Akard said. "Then, it got to kind of be in knives and stuff. Now, it's not unusual to come across guns."

Despite many homicides over the past few years going unsolved, this year, 11/14 were solved. That's nearly 80 percent, which the Lawton Police Department views as a success.

"That is something we take pride in," Akard said. "We would rather solve every homicide that we have, but as you can see, we haven't."

Over the years, Akard said things have changed; police used to be able to heighten patrol in problem areas. He said 2013's homicides were more spread out over the region than years past.

"There's no particular area that we could say, 'This is where the homicides are apt to occur at,'" Akard said. "It makes it more difficult to see where the criminal element is at that time."

Captain Akard said the department has many cases where they are 90 percent certain they know who's responsible, but investigators do not have the proper evidence to take the case to the district attorney. In their investigations, they have hit roadblocks, because people with pertinent information to case are too afraid to come forward, fearful of retaliation.

 

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