MOST WANTED: October 2004 homicides

MOST WANTED: October 2004 homicides

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A suspect believed to have killed at least three people in Columbus 12 years ago is still free.

However, Columbus detectives are not giving up on bringing the gunman to justice.

Three men killed in cold blood, October 2004 on Columbus' south side – it all unfolded less than two miles from each other within three weeks.

The crime scenes started near Elizabeth Canty Apartments off Cusseta Road.

Homicide detective Michael Dahnke, a 16-year veteran with the Columbus Police Department, took News Leader 9 to first scene at 3rd Street and 19th Avenue.

"There was a vehicle sitting here and a person was located outside the vehicle," Dahnke said.

Edward Faniel, a pastor in Fort Mitchell known to many as the "Preacher Man," had been shot and killed with no trace of the gunman on Oct. 16, 2004.

A week later on Oct. 23, exactly 1.3 miles from where Faniel was murdered, another man was gunned down near 520 Brennan Road, now a grassy area formerly Mom's Cafe.

"There's was a body that was located. it was identified as Benjamin Smith, He died from gunshot wounds."

Dahnke's partner Detective David Stokes says Smith was from Columbus and like Faniel, his body was near his vehicle, a gold 2000 Dodge Intrepid. 

Then on Oct. 31 behind St. Peter Community Church at 1951 Cusseta Road, just across the street from the first murder scene, a woman made a gruesome discovery.

"People noticed him lying here, they thought he was drunk, but as they got closer they noticed blood and called 911," Dahnke said.

Gerardo Gray had also been shot, but detectives say they believe all three men were killed by the same person.

If you know anything about these crimes, you're asked to contact CPD's homicide division at (706) 653-3400.

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