COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - With time to reflect on 2016, it has been a deadly year for the Chattahoochee Valley.
It started in early January with the brutal murder of three family members in Upatoi, which led to a widespread investigation. Raheam Gibson, Jervarceay Tapley, and Rufus Burks are all accused of breaking into Gloria Short's Upatoi home, killing her, her son Caleb Short, and her 11-year-old granddaughter, Gianna Lindsey.
Numbers show there have been more homicides this year, compared to 2015, but in the last four years, the numbers have ranged from 22 to 26 homicides in Muscogee County and 2016 falls along that pattern.
However, Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan says, while the numbers have generally stayed the same, the nature of the homicides has changed.
"I don't know what we can expect to change, to be honest with you," said Bryan.
This year alone, a cab driver was shot and killed over petty cash. There was also a beloved member of the community with special needs, Deonn Carter who was assaulted while getting mail, along with other attacks officials are calling senseless.