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Crime Police continue search for witnesses in fatal park stabbing

12:50  11 october  2021
12:50  11 october  2021 Source:   abcnews.go.com

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Atlanta police have spoken with a jogger who they initially thought may have witnessed the stabbing death of a woman in Piedmont Park last week.

Police are ramping up the search for possible witnesses of the "gruesome" stabbing death of Katie Janness, 40, and her dog Bowie, who were killed on July 28.

Authorities shared photos Friday morning of a jogger who they said could have been a witness. Atlanta police told ABC News that as of Friday afternoon the man pictured "has come forward and is cooperating with investigators at this time." He's not a suspect at this time or accused of any wrongdoing, police added.

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  Police continue search for witnesses in fatal park stabbing © Erik S. Lesser/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Atlanta police said late Friday the jogger had not witnessed the crime.

a person holding a sign: A photo of stabbing death victim Katherine Janness and her dog Bowie sit among a growing memorial at Piedmont Park in Atlanta, Aug. 3, 2021. © Erik S. Lesser/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock A photo of stabbing death victim Katherine Janness and her dog Bowie sit among a growing memorial at Piedmont Park in Atlanta, Aug. 3, 2021.

On Wednesday, APD released surveillance video and photos showing people in the area of Piedmont Park around the time Janness was murdered, asking for those people to come forward or for the public to identify them as possible witnesses.

Police were called to the crime scene around 1:10 a.m. after it was reported a person was being stabbed. Janness and her dog were found dead, each with multiple stab wounds.

MORE: Woman and her dog are fatally stabbed in Atlanta park, FBI investigating

Janness' parter of seven years, Emma Clark, said Janness went to walk Bowie after dinner but never returned, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. When she didn't come home, Clark tracked her phone's location and went to the park.

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Authorities said the investigation is ongoing, and on Friday they raised to $20,000 the reward for more information in solving the case.

Rodney Bryant wearing a suit and tie: Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Atlanta Police Department Chief Rodney Bryant discuss the unsolved stabbing murder of Katherine Janness and her dog Bowie during a press conference in Atlanta, Aug. 3, 2021. © Erik S. Lesser/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Atlanta Police Department Chief Rodney Bryant discuss the unsolved stabbing murder of Katherine Janness and her dog Bowie during a press conference in Atlanta, Aug. 3, 2021.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms addressed concerns that the murder may be a sign there's a killer on the loose targeting the LGBTQ+ community.

"I know there have been several rumors that there is a serial killer on the loose in the city," she said. "We don't have any evidence of that -- also that this was a hate crime. As of now, we don't have any proof of that as well."

Anyone with information on the identity of the suspect in this case should contact 911 or Crime Stoppers Atlanta. Information on the case can be submitted anonymously to the Crime Stoppers Atlanta tip line at 404-577-TIPS (8477) or online at www.StopCrimeATL.com.

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