'We are getting close': Atlanta police say Piedmont Park murder investigation still 'very active'

Almost six months since the brutal stabbing of a woman and dog in Piedmont Park, the case remains unsolved.

Unsolved, but not closed, according to Atlanta Police Department homicide investigators. 

On Tuesday at Atlanta Police Headquarters, Deputy Chief Charles Hampton Jr. said there aren't many updates on Katie Janness' murder investigation, but it's still "very active."


Hampton Jr. said they are receiving leads on a weekly basis and meeting regularly with the FBI.

"We are getting close in, my opinion," Hampton Jr. said. 

Homicide Commander Ralph Woolfolk said investigators are still assessing biological, physical and electronic evidence. 

"We do believe this investigation is moving in the right direction," Woolfolk said. 

Police ask the public to continue to report leads to Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS.

No suspect or motive in Piedmont Park murder

The murder still remains unsolved and police have released few details.

The murder received national attention and sparked panic in residents of Midtown and much of metro Atlanta.

Atlanta residents have expressed their uneasiness about the safety of the park. The investigation has highlighted a need for heightened security at Atlanta parks

When, where in Piedmont Park did the murder happen?

Officers were called to the entrance of Piedmont Park at 10th Street and Charles Allen Drive around 1 a.m. on July 28 after the discovery of a woman and her dog stabbed to death.

The woman was identified as 40-year-old Atlanta resident Katherine Janness. She was reportedly found near the entrance to the park at 10th Street and Charles Allen Drive.


Police released an image of Janness and Bowie, her partner's dog, using a crosswalk near the park shortly before the murder. 

Who is Emma Clark, Janness' partner at the time?

Katie Janness' partner, Emma Clark, spoke with FOX 5 and said she remembers her as an 'incredible dog mom, a bartender, and an advocate for social justice.'

Emma Clark said her heart was broken and her "world would never be the same" after Janness and Bowie's deaths.

Clark said Janness was an "incredible dog mom and advocate for social justice." She was a musician and was well-known in the Midtown Atlanta community.

Clark allegedly tracked them her iPhone tracker and found both Janness and her 3-year-old dog dead near the entrance to the park at 10th Street and Charles Allen Drive.

A relative said Janness her partner that she was taking her dog Bowie for a quick walk but never came back. The couple lived up the street from the park and had been together for years. 

Piedmont Park stabbing autopsy results

Disturbing new details were released in the brutal murder of a Midtown woman in Piedmont Park earlier this year as investigators released the autopsy report on Friday.

Katherine Janness suffered more than 50 stab wounds to her face, neck and torso the night in July she was murdered in Piedmont Park, according to an autopsy report.

According to the autopsy report, Katie Janness died due to "sharp force injuries of her face, neck, and torso" that caused injuries to major blood vessels and internal organs. At least 15 of those wounds were to her head.

The report revealed the letters "F", "A", and "T" were carved into her torso. The report described significant mutilation to her upper torso.

WARNING: Details in the report are disturbing.

Bowie's necropsy 

Authorities are examining the dog that belonged to the woman stabbed to death in Piedmont Park.

A retired investigator said some valuable evidence could have been gathered from Bowie's corpse.

APD ordered an examination looking for potential DNA that may have ended up on, or in the mouth of Bowie.

So far, police have not released information on the necropsy. 

What do we know about the Piedmont Park murderer?

Criminologists have been trying to come up with a profile of the person who murdered Katie Janness based on what is known about the murder and the evidence. Investigators believe a profile and good old-fashioned police work will be what solves the case.

"There is no full sample of DNA, there is no DNA from what I know to test, so this is really going to be a case, I think, where old school detective work where leather hits the pavement," said retired Atlanta homicide detective Vince Velazquez, who consulted with the lead detective on this case.

Velazquez said right now there doesn't seem to be an intimate connection between Janness and the killer. 

"The other element that a lot of people don't understand...people with mental illness. We've had cases like this. In their mind, whatever voices their hearing or whatever demons, they're fighting, it's transferred into that object. It could be that person and there really isn't an intimate connection," Velazquez said.

He said any small lead can be the thing to break this case and anyone who may have witnessed something that night out of place, out of the ordinary, no matter how big or small, should come forward. It might be the difference between letting a potentially violent predator go free and justice for Janness, not to mention the peace of mind for an entire city.

Were there cameras around?

The cameras were part of a pilot project and are based on obsolete technology. The cameras were not removed because their presence was deemed valuable. Officials are working to determine if there is any information to extract from the cameras.

Technically, there were cameras in Piedmont Park that night, but those cameras were inactive. 

There are nine security cameras inside Piedmont Park, but none are operational due to outdated technology. 

The cameras were not removed because their presence was deemed valuable. 

Investigators tried to determine if there is any information to extract from the cameras, but no images or video have been made public.

This and other killings in Atlanta parks exposed a lack of video surveillance