Action News obtained recent stats for unsolved murders in Jacksonville and learned the number is more than double over the past two years than in 2010 and 2011.
JSO officials would not provide many details about the numbers or what is being done to close unsolved cases.
Tuesday the agency held a news conference announcing an arrest in the May 2 homicide of Shaquita Smith. However, at the news conference, officials did not want to talk about the dozens of other murder cases that remain unsolved.
“Last year there were 44 unsolved murders in Jacksonville,” stated Action News reporter Kristy Wolski. “What are you doing to solve those prior cases and how often are cases from prior years closed?”
“I’m here to answer the questions on this particular arrest,” responded Chris Butler, JSO Assistant Chief. “As far as unsolved murders that we’ve had, historically, that is something that was followed up on by the detectives within the homicide unit.”
The stats show there are 18 unsolved murders from 2010 and 18 unsolved from 2011. In 2012 the number is 38 and there are 44 unsolved murders from 2013. So far in 2014, between January 1 and May 1, there are 16 unsolved cases.
Multiple times our Action News reporter asked what’s being done.
“Working leads as they come available and as we develop leads through any type of evidence that is submitted in those cases, so we’re actively working them,” said Butler. “Do you have any more questions about this case?”
On our final question, a public information officer responded with this:
“This news conference is about this murder arrest,“ said Melissa Bujeda, Public Information Officer. “If you have any other questions you can contact our office.”
Action News made an in-person and email request with Melissa Bujeda for an on-camera interview with someone from JSO. An interview was not granted and we were told questions needed to be submitted via email.