Piedmont Park murder: Katherine Janness stabbing investigation 1 year later

A bench sits in the dog park at Piedmont Park where Katherine Janness and her partner’s dog, Bowie, used to spend free time. It’s a solemn reminder of the "gruesome" scene discovered at the park one year ago.

There are still more questions than answers in the deadly Piedmont Park stabbing: Who stabbed Janness and Bowie to death? Were they targeted? 

The Atlanta Police Department has not made any arrests, announced any persons of interest or stated a possible motive related to the crime. 

In the weeks and months after the shooting, Atlanta residents in the area said they felt  uneasy spending time alone in the park. The investigation has emphasized a need for more security at Atlanta parks

Here's what we know about Katherine Janness, Bowie and their murder investigation (WARNING: Details of this case are disturbing and discretion is advised):

When and where in Piedmont Park did the murder happen?

Officers went to the entrance of Piedmont Park at 10th Street and Charles Allen Drive around 1 a.m. on July 28, 2021, after the discovery of a woman and 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.

Atlanta Police shared a photo taken from a Midtown security camera before Katherine Janness' murder. (Atlanta Police Department)

Atlanta Police shared a photo taken from a Midtown security camera before Katherine Janness' murder. (Atlanta Police Department)


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?

After Janness' death, Emma Clark said her heart was broken and her "world would never be the same."

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

Clark allegedly tracked them with her iPhone 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 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. 

Katherine Janness and her partner Emma (Courtesy of the family)

Piedmont Park stabbing autopsy

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.

The autopsy showed 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.

Bowie's necropsy 

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. 

Were there cameras?

City officials said 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

Katie Janness and her dog Bowie were brutally stabbed to death inside Piedmont Park on July 28, 2021. (Courtesy of the family)

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.

In January, then APD Deputy Police Chief Charles Hampton Jr. said investigators were receiving regular tips, following up on leads 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. 

A former investigator said evidence in the autopsy may suggest a "familiarity" and "high emotions."

The FBI released a statement on Thursday reading:

"As we mark the one-year anniversary of the murder of Katie Janness, the FBI continues to work closely with our partners at the Atlanta Police Department to solve this heinous crime. We are offering all our federal resources and will not rest until the perpetrator who took the lives of Katie and Bowie is brought to justice."