Murders up in Richmond County

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September 14, 2006

There have been 16 murders in Richmond County so far this year, up 7 from this time last year.

Investigators are confident the number will go up before the end of the year.

"There's no doubt it's going to go up," Lt. Scott Peebles of the Richmond County Sheriff's Department told News 12. "I mean, murders are absolutely unpredictable."

The latest murder happened Tuesday morning at the Red Carpet Inn on Gordon Highway.

The early morning shooting left Terrance Moore dead and investigators back at work.

"We're committed to the homicides and solving them," Lt. Peebles said.

Out of those 16 murders in Richmond County so far this year, 14 have been solved.

News 12 has learned two will probably be carried as unsolved.

Clearly this type of violence doesn't just happen here on the streets in Richmond County, the homes, the hotels...but the numbers are significantly lower in surrounding counties.

In Aiken County this year, there have been 8 total; in Columbia County, there hasn't been a single murder this year.

Lt. Peebles says there are a number of things to take into account.

"I'm sure the socioeconomic makeup of a particular area has a lot to do with it, the age of the population...all of those things go into crime stats."

But regardless of stats, Lt. Peebles reminds parents that keeping tabs on their children is key, to avoid being a part of these brutal situations.

"Before you know it, you're going to your child's funeral or visiting your child in prison," he warns.

Back in late August, a man's body was found in the back of a pick-up truck behind a vacant trailer in south Augusta.

Investigators later found he was not actually killed in Richmond County, so that case is not included in this year's statistics.