Richmond County focuses on unsolved homicides

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December 15, 2006

Homicide cases are up this year. There have been 19 of them, with just two weeks to go in 2006.

Last year, 15 homicides were reported in Augusta.

But this year, only two are unsolved. That's an arrest in 85 percent of cases.

How do we compare?

Only 75 percent of Savannah's 27 homicides this year have been solved. The national average is 62 percent solved.

In Richmond County, they're still focusing on those two cases where no one is behind bars.

One case is now closer to being closed.

We talked to family members who tell us this holiday season, the only gift they ask for is an answer.

On July 10, 2006, the Richmond County Fire Department responded to a call of a fire off Old McDuffie Road.

What they discovered was what investigators say was a cover up in the murder of 28-year-old Isaiah Selman.

"We've been meeting with family, friends, contacts, trying to locate where he was the last few hours of his death," Inv. Steve Fanning told News 12.

The autopsy showed Isaiah suffered from blunt force trauma to the head and then died of asphyxiation.

Investigators say he was at a party off Peach Orchard Road on the Saturday night before his body was found.

"He left with some girls in the car and went to a house downtown," said Inv. Fanning.

On Sunday Isaiah was with a friend who lives in Grovetown. Isaiah asked him to drop him back off at the car wash on Peach Orchard Road even though the business wasn't open.

Where Isaiah Selman was for the next 24 hours before his body was burned still remains a mystery to investigators and his family.

"That day he also called his sister," Inv. Fanning said. "She got a voicemail on her cell phone. We don't why he called. He just left a name and said he'd call back."

It would be the last time his sister Lakeasha would ever hear her brother's voice again.

"I find myself stressed all the time," she told News 12. "I think about the last time I talked to my brother, constantly replaying it in my mind."

Even though Richmond County investigators have worked 19 homicides this year, they say Isaiah's case is unusual because of how he died.

Investigators are asking anyone that has information on this case to call the Richmond County Sheriff's Office. You may be eligible for a reward if your tip leads to an arrest.

Tips are very helpful to investigators--they helped solve one in less than 24 hours this week.

Several people in the neighborhood called to leave anonymous tips about what they saw or who they thought may have murdered Jeffrey Labord early Tuesday morning (December 12), and because of that officers were able to quickly track down a suspect on the case.

Homicide by Month - 2006
January: 2
February: 2
March: 0
April: 0
May: 1
June: 4
July: 5
August: 2
September: 1
October: 0
November: 1
December: 1