Columbus Cold Cases of 2008

Published: Dec. 30, 2008 at 11:13 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 3, 2009 at 1:32 PM EST
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By Laurie Bernstein - bio | email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Police have been busy this year in Columbus, investigating 30 murders, ten in the last month alone.

The good news: 26 of them have been solved.

The bad news: four murders still have no suspects and no leads.

"We are at a dead stop with all four cases," said Columbus Police Captain Gordon Griswould.

Captain Griswould says each cold case presented unique challenges for investigators that were hard to overcome.

The first unsolved murder dates back to April 8th, when Paul Hill was found dead weeks after being beaten to death in his home.

"We're behind anytime a body isn't discovered until later on. We're behind on finding the people involved, and witnesses have a hard time remembering details," said Captain Griswould.

Another issue facing detectives is lack of an eye witnesses.

A perfect example is the murder of 20-year-old David Coleman back on September 22nd, shot to death in his home on Lawyer's Lane.

"We canvas the area as much as possible, walking the streets, trying to get information from people who might have seen or heard anything," said Captain Griswould.

Detectives caught a break during the murder investigation of Isaac Powell on December 10th, after learning his daughter was in the house at the time of the home invasion and shooting.

"Sometimes, even if they didn't see what happened, they might hear a person and recognize their voice, or may hear a name being called," said Captain Griswould.

This time, though, even a witness didn't help nail down a suspect.

Some cases do present concrete evidence to follow up on, like the murder of Richard Boynton back on December 5th, where detectives determined it was a burglary gone bad.

"We go to pawn shops, trace the items back, and determine who pawned it. Hopefully it will lead us to the suspects that did commit the crime," said Captain Griswould.

Again, investigators hit a dead end.

With 2008 coming to a close, Captain Griswould hopes he can deliver some good news soon to these victim's families who have lost so much.

"That would bring closure to the families if we were able to solve homicides, especially before the New Year," said Captain Griswould.

If you have any information on these murders, you are asked to call Columbus Police at 706-653-3400.