51 Atlanta homicides from 2016 remain unsolved. These are the victims.

51 Atlanta homicides from 2016 remain unsolved. These are the victims.

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Courtesy of the Hayden family
Taylor Hayden, 25, was killed while visiting Atlanta from Houston in July 2016. The case remains unsolved. 

A young woman was standing outside a Buckhead bar in July when gunfire erupted in the parking lot. 

Taylor Hayden, 25, visiting Atlanta on a “girls’ weekend” from Texas, was killed in the crossfire. About 1,500 people reportedly attended the funeral for Hayden, who graduated from Prairie View A&M University, and her father pleaded for someone to come forward with information. 

But that homicide, along with 50 others from 2016, remain unsolved.

Atlanta recorded 111 murders in 2016, making it the city’s deadliest year in nearly a decade. The year before, Atlanta saw 95 murders, the AJC has reported.  

It was clear by summer that 2016 wasn’t in good shape; the murder rate was up 25 percent by July. In Zone 3 on the south side, 22 murders had happened by then, equaling all of 2014 in that zone.

As a result, the city unveiled Operation Whiplash, which called for the creation of a task force that Mayor Kasim Reed said would “dramatically increase resources to respond and investigate gun-related violent crime in our city.”

The approach slowed the murder rate some, but it “didn’t have the success that we hoped,” Atlanta Police Deputy Chief Darryl Tolleson said last month.

A decrease in the number of employed officers could be a contributing factor. 

The police department had 2,000 officers in 2013, a number that has since fallen below that.

“The police force has to get back up to 2,000 officers,” Reed said recently. “One hundred and twenty, 130 more officers on the street makes a huge difference.”

The department graduated 25 new officers this week.

The increase in homicides follows a national trend. 

APD did not respond to requests for comment.

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On Monday the Atlanta Police Department released a list of all unsolved homicides from 2016 in response to an AJC open records request.

The victims were:

Atlanta police accept tips, which can be anonymous, through Crime Stoppers Atlanta tip line at 404-577-TIPS (8477), online at www.crimestoppersatlanta.org or by texting CSA and the tip to CRIMES (274637). 

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