MPD: 35 percent of 2017 homicide cases unsolved

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The new year isn't bringing any answers for dozens of families whose loved ones were murdered in 2017.

So many hurting families are trying to make sense of the tragedies. Many said it's worse when their loved one's case hasn't been solved.

Memphis Police Department is working hard to make that happen.

"He was very young, had just given himself to God at church," said Fondra Byers about her 18-year-old cousin Devonta Newsom.

Newsom was shot and killed last July at his home as he was in bed sleeping.

She, like many families, is praying for an arrest in her loved one's case.

"I'm sure there's someone who knows something," Byers said.

MPD released new numbers that show of the 200 people killed in 2017, 35 percent of those cases remain unsolved.

That's a five percent increase based on stats from 2016, which saw 228 people killed that year.

"I don't know how a person can sleep knowing they have taken a person's life," Byers said.

Police say of the 2017's solved cases, 95 percent of the victims and suspects knew each other.

"I really do miss him," said Alan Thornton, who was the football coach of 10-year-old Richard Jordan III.

Jordan was shot and killed last November during a drive-by shooting.

"Innocent kid got his like taken," Thornton said.

The city of Memphis has a goal of getting the police force to 2,300 by 2020.

Mayor Jim Strickland is also working to retain more officers, add more jobs, and lobby for harsher punishments.

Many agree everyone has to be involved to fight crime in Memphis.

If you know anything that can help police solve these crimes, call Crime Stoppers at 901-528-CASH.

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