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More and more Cincinnati homicides going unsolved

Trend of finding more killers has reversed
Posted at 6:15 AM, Jan 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-03 06:16:13-05

CINCINNATI — Families of Cincinnati murder victims are facing a troubling statistic.

More than half of the homicides committed in the city in 2019 have gone unsolved.

For five straight years – 2014 to 2018 – police had a winning record in closing homicide cases. But now, families like Cameron Franklin’s wonder if they’ll get justice for their loved ones.

And it is a problem statewide.

Franklin was just 14 when he was shot and killed last summer. Months later, the search for a suspect is still on.

"It's a daily thing. You hope that the phone rings and there's an answer," said William Franklin.

Someone gunned down his oldest child last July.

"I don't understand how at night they can just go to sleep like nothing happened," Franklin said.

No arrests have been made.

"We joined this club that nobody wanted to be in," Franklin said.

Police were called to the corner of Storrs and Neave streets in Lower Price Hill shortly before midnight that Saturday. Cameron was pronounced dead on the scene - one of three teens killed days apart. The next day, Cincinnati police announced it would step up enforcement of the city's teen curfew.

"Still not sure why he was down there or what was really going on,” William Franklin said, “but the only one who has the answers are the several group of people who were with him when this happened. Hopefully, one of them are brave enough to come forward and put an end to this."

Police said 55% of last year's homicide cases are still open. Closing a case sometimes take years. Data from 2014 shows 32% of those cases are still open.

Here’s the percentage of homicide cases closed for the past six years:

  • 2019 - 45%
  • 2018 - 59%
  • 2017 - 65%
  • 2016 - 62%
  • 2015 - 70%
  • 2014 - 68%

Crime Stoppers chairman and former UC police chief Gene Ferrara said it's all about someone being willing to come forward. Last year, anonymous tips helped solve 283 crimes, including 15 homicides.

"Scientific trace evidence is very important,” Ferrara said. “In many ways, it's the most important in the sense that it's hard to challenge that. But witness statements are what get police officers a lead to be able to pursue."

"I have faith that something's going to happen soon," William Franklin said.

If you have any information about an unsolved homicide, you can call Crime Stoppers at 513-352-3040, download the P3 Tips app or go on the Crime Stoppers website at http://crime-stoppers.us/