ATLANTA — Police said a woman walking her dog was stabbed multiple times inside Piedmont Park early Wednesday morning. Investigators said her wife pinged her phone and found her body.
Officers identified the victim as Katherine Janness, 40, of Atlanta.
A police source also said Janness had dinner with her wife Tuesday night and then said she was going to walk the dog.
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The wife pinged her phone when she didn’t come home.
When she arrived at Piedmont Park, she found the disfigured body of Janness and her dead dog near the entrance around 1 a.m. Wednesday.
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Police have been out at the park all day and divers have been searching the lake in the middle of the park.
The killing has left people who use the park shaken and disturbed. The Midtown Neighborhood Alliance said extra patrols will be added to the park starting Wednesday evening.
“I see people walking around happy, laughing. I don’t expect to be hearing somebody is dead here,” one woman told Channel 2′s Tom Jones.
Police said this wasn’t an ordinary murder scene.
“It’s a gruesome scene,” deputy police Chief Charles Hampton said.
Jones watched on Wednesday as divers went in and out of the lake at the park for hours. It appeared they were searching for evidence.
People using the park just couldn’t get over something like this happening there.
There were others who told Jones they had noticed a spike in violent crime in the area, and were taking precautions.
Parkgoers Rebecca and Gus, who did not give their last names, said they only go for a stroll in the park during certain hours.
“I don’t really walk late or night or early in the morning. I try to wait until there’s other people around,” Rebecca said.
Police have continued to try and piece all of this together. They are checking surveillance cameras and retracing Janness’ steps to find the killer and a motive.
Janness lived about a mile from Piedmont Park, so it is possible for some clues to be found along the way.
In a statement posted on social media, the park said in part: “The Piedmont Park Conservancy is deeply saddened, and our hearts go out to the individual’s family and loved ones.”
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Police are urging anyone who may have information regarding the case to call 911, Crime Stoppers or Atlanta homicide division at 404-546-4236. There is a $10,000 reward.
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