Unsolved homicide cases increase in Fort Myers

Posted at 7:59 PM, Jan 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-05 08:49:45-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Nearly 63% of homicides were unsolved in 2016, which is an increase from the previous year, according to data from the Fort Myers Police Department.

A complete annual crime report from FMPD has yet to be completed; however, statistics provided to Fox 4 news shows detectives investigated 17 homicide cases.  One of those was a murder suicide, and for our analysis we excluded it, considering an arrest could not be made.

Of the remaining 16 homicide cases in 2016, five arrests were made which leaves 62.5% of the cases unsolved.

In 2015, murder rates rose by 27.3% from the previous year. Data shows detectives investigated 14 unjustifiable homicides, and no arrest were made in 50% of those cases.

A woman living near the scene of an unsolved murder, who asked not to be identified, says the fear of knowing killers are living nearby is nerve-racking.  "If these people are still walking around, I'm quite sure they're in this area, and some of them probably live right here in this area.  So yes, it really increases my fear," said resident.

The homes in her neighborhood are quaint, and to the unassuming eye it's not obvious that drive-by's aren't an anomaly but the norm.

She told Fox 4, she believes the murder which occurred on her street remains unsolved because of the some people's reluctance to work with police.  "People are not trying to cooperate around here when they see something they're afraid to talk," she said.

The greatest fear is of retaliation, which is why she chose to conceal her identity. However, like most residents in crime prone communities she's hoping 2017 is a year where fewer cases go unsolved.

"I'm hoping things will improve you know. We have a new chief of police and I know he's going to try his best to help us, and we have to help him too, he can't do it alone."