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Steubenville officials speak out about unsolved murders

Updated: Tuesday, August 19 2014, 10:40 AM EDT
STEUBENVILLE, Ohio – Five murders in 18 months – all of them unsolved.
From the killing of Demetrius Benjamin in January 2012 to the shooting of Derrick Williams in July 2013. In between, there was the murder of Travis McIntyre in June 2012, the shooting of Quentin Nelson in March 2012, and the murder of Tristan Jackson in April 2013.
To this day, their killers remain free.
“He always believed in family first and he was my heart,” Elise McIntyre, mother of Travis McIntyre said in 2012. “He didn't deserve this."
"We just want justice for him,” Michael Benjamin, brother of Demetrius Benjamin said. “He didn't deserve to be killed. He was a good father, brother, son, friend and like I said the main thing we want is justice for his death."
Justice, as investigators are quick to point out, is a word that is easier said than achieved.
"Sometimes we hear everybody on the street knows who committed that murder,” Jefferson County Prosecutor Jane Hanlin said, “but that doesn't help us present the case to a grand jury.”
"Oftentimes you have the victim and the perpetrator as you could say on the wrong side of the law and nobody wants to cooperate because they are involved in illegal activity themselves,” Steubenville Police Chief William McCafferty said.
However, two years is two years.
When you think about the investigations, two questions come to mind.
Why aren’t they being solved? And why isn’t anyone behind bars?
Investigators say it’s all about people.
“Unfortunately, very often, we have the situation where people don't want to come forward and tell us what they know," Hanlin said.
In some cases, like Jackson’s murder and the shooting of Nelson, people have been charged, but those chargers were dismissed.
“In a number of the cases that you are describing, I believe I know, and the detectives know, or have a very, very good idea of who committed the crime, but that's not enough," Hanlin said.
So what would be enough to put people behind bars for these crimes?
In one word, cooperation.
“Some of them people just don't care to talk about but we never give up,” McCafferty said. “We have several murders it's taken years to solve and whenever new information surfaces, we move forward."
Investigators made it a point to ask residents not to get frustrated. They say many of the investigations are ongoing today. They also said this is not a Steubenville problem, but a culture problem. It’s one that happens in cities across America.
Remember if you do have information, it's never too late pick -up the phone and call investigators. You never know what may help police put the puzzle together.

Steubenville officials speak out about unsolved murders

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