Community shocked after woman stabbed to death in Atlanta park

Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 8:41 AM EDT
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ATLANTA - The Atlanta community is shocked after a woman was found brutally stabbed to death inside Piedmont Park near Midtown.

Was it a random act?

That’s the question on the minds of so many who frequent Piedmont Park after a gruesome discovery inside the park Wednesday morning.

Atlanta police were called to the park around 1 a.m. and found the body of Katherine Janness.

Police say the 40-year-old had been stabbed multiple times.

Her dog was also killed.

One of the last known sightings of the two was near 10th and Piedmont.

It’s not surprising she would be out.

Clayton skinner was a regular customer of Janness, who was a bartender at Campagnola.

Skinner says most people who knew Janness called her Katie.

“She was genuinely, shy, sweet, a kind person,” he said.

Skinner, who also lives in Midtown, says he often saw Janness walking her dog in the neighborhood.

She routinely walked her dog late at night because she typically worked night shift.

Investigators have been combing for evidence inside the park, including the lake.

Police also stepped-up patrols in the area, offering parkgoers a sense of security as Janness’ killer remains on the loose.

“I know that Katie loved this neighborhood, she knew its neighbors. She was part of the community, and it’s a real loss she’s not going to be here anymore,” Skinner said.

The motive for the killing is unknown. Police have not identified a suspect yet.

An FBI spokesperson says the agency is assisting Atlanta police. Mourners have left flowers and dog treats near the park entrance where her body was found.

Deputy Police Chief Charles Hampton described the scene as “gruesome.”

Hampton said it’s too early to determine a motive. Investigators are offering a $10,000 reward for information regarding the slaying.

Also under investigation is the shooting death of a woman at Yellow River Park in Gwinnett County.

Police have identified the victim as 18-year-old Tori Lang of Lithonia. Her body was found around dawn Wednesday. Police said that someone in the park discovered the body underneath a tree during a morning walk and called 911.

In a statement Thursday, Gwinnett County police say that as investigators sought to identify the woman, Lang’s relatives saw information about the case and pictures of Lang’s tattoos on social media and notified law enforcement.

Police said the motive is still unknown, and no arrests have been made.

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