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Editorial: Public voice is necessary for unsolved cases

On Tuesday, April 18, the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office announced they need the public’s help in regards to an unsolved homicide from 2022.

On April 19, 2022, 21-year-old Tavares Roshawn Sanders was found deceased in Lake Park, Georgia, after deputies received a suspicious phone call. According to WTXL Tallahasee, Sanders’s body was found on a dirt road; his car was found abandoned down the same road.

Sanders’s death is just one of many unsolved homicides in Georgia.

According to Uncovered.com, there are approximately 11,482 unresolved murders in Georgia ranging from 1980 to 2019.

In 2012, Stephon Edgerton, a disc jockey for WGOV radio out of Valdosta, was shot outside of the radio station as he left work. According to Unsolved.com, Edgerton was able to call 911 and give authorities a description of the shooter before he passed away at South Georgia Medical Center.

His murder has yet to be solved.

Meanwhile, back in 2005, 31-year-old Anthony Lamar Davis was shot and killed in Clyattville. His body was then burned on Johnson Road, still smoking when authorities arrived at the scene. However, like Edgerton, his murder has yet to be solved.

According to Project: Cold Case, approximately 72% of homicides in Lowndes County were solved between 2000 and 2021. However, of the 110 reported homicide cases between those years, only 79 were cleared between 2010 and 2021.

Since 2019, there have been 28 homicides in Valdosta. According to Project: Cold Case, only 14 of these were solved.

With the advancements in technology making it easier than before to solve homicides, we at The Spectator believe law enforcement professionals and investigators should put more effort into solving these crimes.

Using discretion, we believe law enforcement should work alongside families, the public and the media in order to bring these victims justice.

As has been made obvious with the rise of true crime media, the media – especially social media used by the general public – has the ability to make these cases widely known. Since 2005, no tips have been reported for Anthony Davis’s case, the same for Edgerton’s 2012 case.

It is our belief that the public and the media should broadcast cases like these more often in order to get more eyes on it. Incorporating public opinion and service into solving these crimes has the potential to bring in new tips, new evidence and even new suspects.

Solving these unsolved crimes should be top priority for law enforcement in Lowndes County, the state of Georgia and the nation as a whole, and the best way to do that is found through the voices of the public.

This editorial reflects the general opinion of The Spectator.

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