Piedmont Park murder victim's partner speaks out
ATLANTA - Emma Clark said her partner Katie Janness walked all around Midtown Atlanta often.
"She knew all the streets," Clark said. "She knew everywhere she was going all the time."
Clark wasn't worried when Janness went out to walk her dog, Bowie, the evening of July 27. Clark began to worry when Janness wouldn't answer her phone.
Hours later, Clark tragically discovered both bodies in Piedmont Park after tracking Janness' cellphone. She called 911 in a panic. The scene, which detectives described as "gruesome," still haunts her.
She described those moments to FOX 5 Atlanta's Aungelique Proctor:
"At first, I saw Bowie but I didn't know it was Bowie, I thought it was like a trash bag — from far away I don't have great vision," Clark said. "As soon as I realized he wasn't alive anymore I immediately shot up and started yelling her name and looking around, screaming.
"I ran over to her (Katie) and put my hands on her face and I checked for a pulse but you could tell that she was not alive — there was a lot of blood and she had her neck slashed, so it was very clear."
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.
The Midtown community rallied around Janness' family, including Emma, who wrote her "world would never be the same" after the deaths.
"I don't think I'll ever make any sense of any of it, because Katie wasn't the kind of person who had a problem with anybody," Clark said.
She wonders if convenience or mere chance was the reason her loved one was targeted.
She said she's confident the FBI and Atlanta Police Department will solve the murders of Bowie and Janness.
Officials released a photo taken from a Midtown security camera of the victim and her dog shortly before the murder.
Atlanta Police shared a photo taken from a Midtown security camera before the victim's murder. (Atlanta Police Department)
Investigators were back out in the park, searching for evidence to further the investigation and speaking to residents and park-goers.
Days later, Atlanta police issued images from security footage that captured a handful of potential witnesses to the crime. One witness, a jogger, came forward and is cooperating with police.
Atlanta police have released three new photos of a jogger who may be a witness in the stabbing death of a woman in Piedmont Park. (2 of 3)
Atlanta police commanders took questions directly from worried residents about the killing.
This and other killings in Atlanta parks exposed a lack of video surveillance. There are nine security cameras inside Piedmont Park, but none are operational due to outdated technology.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said the murder is a top priority for her office.
She and Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms addressed rumors that the murder was committed by a serial killer and that it was a hate crime. Both have said the investigation doesn't include evidence to support either claim.
The Atlanta Police Department is offering a $10,000 reward which PETA said it will match.
Anyone with information in the case is asked to call the Atlanta Police Homicide Unit at 404-546-4235 or Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477. Tipsters can remain anonymous and still be eligible for the reward.
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