APD release photos of 6 possible witnesses in Piedmont Park murder

ATLANTA — Atlanta police released surveillance images Tuesday of six people who were in or near Piedmont Park the night that a woman and her dog were brutally killed.

They are not considered suspects, but they may have information that could help police make an arrest.

It’s been nearly a week since The Atlanta Police Department launched its investigation at Piedmont Park where the gruesome stabbing deaths of Katie Janness, 40, and her beloved pup Bowie rocked the community.

The city of Atlanta confirmed that there are nine cameras throughout Piedmont Park but the technology for them is outdated.

Investigators said the cameras were first installed in 2008 and they do not sync up with the current city cameras that are monitored by the Atlanta Police Department.

Now, people who live near and use the park are asking why the city never replaced them.

[PHOTO GALLERY: APD releases photos of possible witnesses in Piedmont Park murder]

The killings have also sparked rumors about a possible serial killer on the loose who may be targeting members of the LGBTQ+ community.

At a news conference Tuesday, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms addressed those claims.

“I know there have been several rumors that there is a serial killer on the loose in the city. We don’t have any evidence of that,” Bottoms said. “Also, that this was a hate crime — as of now, we don’t have any proof of that as well.”

In the meantime, there is more information about the security cameras at the park.

According to city officials, the city is in charge of operating and maintaining the nine cameras in the park.

Channel 2′s Michael Seiden asked city officials if the cameras were operating properly on the night of this brutal crime.

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“In 2008, there was a pilot that was done to install those nine cameras,” said Jon Keen, with the Office of the Chief Operating Officer. “In 2017, there was an assessment that was done. Ultimately, those cameras are based on obsolete technology, and they do not integrate with our video integration center.”.

The video integration center is a network of cameras throughout the city that are monitored by APD and have been vital in fighting crime. But the cameras in the park are outdated.

Still, detectives say despite not having working cameras, they are confident they can solve this crime.

“The investigators of the Atlanta Police Department are talented. There are many homicides that we solve without the aid of any technological equipment,” said Deputy police Chief Charles Hampton. This is also happening at a time when the city has made it a priority to add an additional 270 cameras citywide by the end of the year.

“The reality is the vast majority of our parks don’t have cameras in them,” Bottom said. “We are going to look at crime stats, we are going to be in consultation with APD and parks and rec and see where our most challenged areas are.”

The FBI has joined APD to assist with their investigation.

Crime Stoppers is offering a $10,000 reward for anyone with information.

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