Baton Rouge sees an increase in murders compared to last year

Baton Rouge sees an increase in murders compared to last year

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A violent summer has pushed the needle for homicide cases in Baton Rouge near the red zone, with a good portion of the cases unsolved.

Blue lights and crime scene tape have become a more common sight for police this year.

According to the East Baton Rouge Coroner's Report, so far this year, there have been 70 homicides in the parish compared to 54 last year in the same time frame.

Coroner Beau Clark said a homicide medically is defined differently than it is legally. Medically, Dr. Clark said a homicide is any human being killing another including justified and negligent killings.

District Attorney Hillar Moore said that is why the coroner's numbers are higher than the official murder count.

"As far as we're concerned as law enforcement, we're now 10 murders higher this time this year than we were last year, which is a significant number," said Moore.

According to the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office, the breakdown of murders is:

2012: 13 total murders, 2 unsolved
2013: 16 total murders, 2 unsolved
2014: 11 total murders, 1 unsolved
2015: 13 year to date murders, 3 unsolved

According to the Baton Rouge Police Dept, the murder numbers are:

2012: 67 total murders, 23 unsolved
2013: 49 total murders, 16 unsolved
2014: 53 total murders, 19 unsolved
2015: 46 year to date murders, 28 unsolved

"We need people's cooperation. The police cannot solve these crimes by themselves. Without the people coming forward, we're not going to solve the crimes," said Moore.

LSU criminologist Ed Shihadeh said there have been three triple murders within the parish since June helping spike the number. Plus he said inside the city, many of the BRPD cases are drug related and harder to solve.

"It's two people who had a drug deal in a house, in a back alley, in a corner somewhere. Any witnesses may be reluctant to come forward to say anything," said Shihadeh.

Outside the city, or sheriff's office cases, there have been more domestic violence situations, where solving them is easier.

In the end, Shihadeh said, "These numbers do not mean anybody needs to panic. There's been a slight uptick. Again, part of it is random. Part of it could be nonrandom violence. No need to worry. It's still a very safe city."

Anyone with any information on any case is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 344-STOP (7867) or text CS225 and your message to "CRIMES" (274637) and remain anonymous.

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