Domestic violence homicides drop in 2017--but could still increase

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The number of domestic violence homicides fell in 2017. However, experts said that may not mean the problem is improving.

Memphis Police Department solved 129 of the 200 homicides in 2017. Ninety-five percent of those cases involved victims and suspects who knew each other.

Twenty-six of them are specifically labeled as domestic violence-related homicides. That's down from 32 in 2015.

However, experts said the number of domestic violence homicides could increase as more of the homicides are solved.

Oliette Murry-Drobot from the Family Safety Center said Tennessee ranks 9th nationally for women killed by men. She said it's important for friends and family to recognize early warning signs of an abusive relationship.

"The sooner they can get the assistance, the better," Murry-Drobot said. "Often times it's threats or stalking behavior. This person is calling you all the time."

Jasper Moten thinks about his two daughters every day. They were shot and killed in April 2017. His daughters, Kayla and Kendall, would be 21 and 26 if they were alive today.

George Muhammad, Moten's son-in-law, confessed to killing Kayla and Kendall.

Court records show that Muhammad has a history of domestic violence.

Moten said he wishes he or someone in his family had known about Muhammad's past or noticed the signs of abuse when there was still time to save his daughters' lives.

Anyone who needs help reporting or understanding domestic violence should consider calling the 24/7 domestic violence hotline at 901-222-4400,

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