DURHAM — Police have concluded that a womans suspicious death on Tuesday was the citys 17th homicide of 2013.
The victim has been identified as Ella Davis, 68, of Greens Hollow Lane. Investigators have not released the cause of death or filed charges.
Officers found Davis body in her apartment at Greens Pine Glen shortly after 10 a.m. Tuesday. They had been dispatched to check the residents welfare, according to police spokeswoman Kammie Michael.
Davis was found just hours after Travis Knight, 41, of Armitage Drive was fatally shot in the 300 block of East Umstead Street. Police found him wounded after responding to a report of gunshots at 9:09 p.m. Monday. Knight was taken to Duke Hospital, where he died shortly after arrival.
Police have not named a suspect.
Daviss was the eighth killing since June 18, and the summers rash of homicides has alarmed some citizens.
On July 3, Mayor Bill Bell and Police Chief Jose L. Lopez held a news conference to reassure the public that they have nothing to fear.
From 2008 through 2012, the city averaged 23.2 homicides yearly, according to police records 21 last year.
In January through July 2012, there were 14 homicides just two fewer than the total so far this year. But at no point in 2012 were there as many killings in so short a time.
At a meeting July 12 of the Durham Crime Cabinet, attorney Charlie Reece said the city was in the midst of a crisis.
Along with Reece, City Council candidate Eddie Davis wanted to know whether Durham officials had been talking about the recent rash of homicides.
Raleigh, with 185,000 more residents than Durham, had 17 homicides in 2012, according to FBI Uniform Crime Reports, and Cary had none. Winston-Salem, with about the same population as Durham, had seven.
Thomas Poole, a former facilitator in Durhams Partners Against Crime program, said Durhams is a frustrated public over the communitys homicide and violent crime rates.
But city police and the Durham County Sheriffs Office have been vigilant, he said, going door to door, walking the streets, doing all they can.
Reece said he was surprised that members of the Crime Cabinet, a group of community leaders and law enforcement officials, showed no particular sense of urgency about the recent killings.
The reason youre not getting a sense of increased urgency is that this group and all of these other groups that are working in Durham have felt that sense of urgency for a long time, City Councilman Don Moffit said.