NEW DETAILS: Woman found dead along DeKalb street latest in string of homicides

A woman was found shot to death in a Decatur neighborhood the day before Christmas Eve and her killer remains on the run.??

For the third time in as many weeks, a passerby found a woman’s body along a walking path in DeKalb County.

The latest case involves 59-year-old Laura Cooley, whose body was found Dec. 23 lying face-down along Eastwood Drive in a neighborhood off Candler Road. She had been shot, her family told Channel 2 Action News.

Her brother, Wes Cooley, said Laura was known to come and go from the home she shared with their mother, but she left Dec. 20 and never came back. Cooley got a call from the county coroner last Saturday confirming his fears.

“I was in shock,” he told the news station.

Investigators believe Laura Cooley’s death is isolated. They do not consider the case related to either of two others, a 24-year-old woman found dead near a Stone Mountain-area park and a 22-year-old woman shot dead along a jogging path in southwest DeKalb.

The body of Shantrelle Monroe was found Dec. 12 by hikers on a walking trail near the Mainstreet playground outside Stone Mountain. Homicide investigators believe the woman was shot on the trail.

RELATED: Police ID young woman found dead on walking trail near Stone Mountain

On Dec. 31, a jogger found the body of Maya Mitchell lying next to a path at Glen Emerald Park on Bouldercrest Road. Investigators believe Mitchell was shot in the park and was there for at least five hours before her body was discovered.

MORE: Cops: Woman shot in DeKalb park was there for 5 hours before body was found

Police said Friday Mitchell’s 2010 green Ford Fusion hybrid is still missing. They are asking the public to be on the lookout for the vehicle, which has Georgia tag RNF8368.

“Detectives are investigating persons of interest in each of the cases, and believe that the victims were known to their assailants,” DeKalb police spokesman Sgt. J.D. Spencer said in a statement. “... There are strong leads and a different person of interest in each case.”

In Cooley’s case, her brother is asking anyone with information to come forward.

“We want to have closure,” he told Channel 2. “We want to get this perpetrator off the street.”

Tipsters can remain anonymous, and be eligible for rewards of up to $2,000, by contacting Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-8477, texting information to 274637 or visiting the Crime Stoppers website.

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