Local News

4 of 15 Raleigh Homicides This Year Remain Unsolved

Posted September 23, 2007
Updated September 24, 2007

— So far this year, 15 people have been killed in Raleigh. Four of those cases are still unsolved.

Now, detectives are making another push to get information on one of them – a case where the killer tied up his victim before shooting him in broad daylight.

On April 27, Timothy Barnwell, 34, was found dead outside his Raleigh apartment.

Those close to Barnwell, who friends called "Knotty," are still dealing with the loss. And they are also still dealing with the fact that his killer hasn't been caught.

Detectives are reaching out to the public again to get information that will help them solve the case. Police said they have received a number of tips over the past five months, and they’re not ruling anything out, including that Barnwell might have known his killer.

“We believe the victim was bound at the ankles and the wrists,” said Raleigh Police Spokesman Jim Sughrue. “We believe that he was able to go over the balcony of his second story apartment into some shrubbery and was crawling away when he was shot.”

The Barnwell case is one of four unsolved in Raleigh this year.

In June, Jenna Nielsen was murdered outside a Raleigh convenience store. She was 8 months pregnant. Her case got national attention, but it is still unsolved.

But Raleigh police are reluctant to call any of these cases “cold.” They said detectives work on them weekly, and they truly believe one day they'll be solved.

“The Raleigh Police Department has a very high clearance rate on homicide cases,” Sughrue said. “Over the past 30 years, the department has cleared more than 95 percent.”

For now, authorities said their best plan of attack in the Barnwell case is to ask for help so that a killer can be caught and a family can finally move on.

Anyone with any information about these cases should contact Raleigh police at 919-890-3555.


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • The Dude Sep 24, 2007

    Carrese probably thinks everything is just like the tv crime dramas where all cases are solved in one hour. Probably thinks CCBI shows up in Hummers and can get prints off of anything and everything and have it back in seconds flat. Well, it's not like that. Unfortunately, there are many instances where evidence/witnesses are just not there. That is reality, not CSI or Law and Order. Most likely, you just like to take any chance you can to bash police because it makes you feel so warm and fuzzy. Good luck with that.

  • lastchance Sep 24, 2007

    ncbaseballmom.... leroy jernigans story will be on ncwanted sept 29th and yes we are trying very hard to get more word out on his story. As far as the people being wrong on the composites we havent heard anything of the like....

  • Kriterian Sep 24, 2007

    To whoever was asking about the population:

    Raleigh had approximately 1.2 million people in 2003 with an estimation of 1.4 million by 2008.

  • Adelinthe Sep 24, 2007

    Those officers who give tickets for jaywalking, etc., are different from the ones who investigate murders.

    Am praying for breaks in these crimes so that the families of the deceased can find some peace.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • ncbaseballmom Sep 24, 2007

    Why is it that some stories get more exposure than others? The only time I hear anything about the Leroy Jernigan case is when their family members post something on here. I have not seen anything on NC WANTED. Last I heard the descriptions were possibly wrong. Is this true? Does anyone know?

  • doobedobedoodoo Sep 24, 2007

    Carrese, I'm sorry, but your're STILL WRONG! You were complaining about Raleigh P.D. getting of their "combined rear end" and later that the "homocide" (your term) rate has gone up this year compared to last year. We are at 15 now in '07 and there is a little over 3 months to go-and that is less than the same point last year. So, how is Raleigh's murder rate higher this year? Clearly the conversation was about Raleigh but you try to divert from that now.

    As the population grows in the county, little towns will see their "rates" jump astronomically if they go from one or none to...anything more than that..even if its still a very small number.

    The fact remains that this area and Raleigh in particular has a low murder rate is regarded nation wide as a very safe city.

    Nice to see how much you support the police. Nice to see your disparaging comments on a night that a police officer got shot responding to a break-in in Durham. Your home could be next..

  • lastchance Sep 24, 2007

    Our family is asking for the publics help, my son was murdered last june and still they are on the loose. please if anyone knows any of these please contact the nearest authorties. you can view thier sketches on wral and put in composites released and also other sketches of people of interest is on website. www.leroyjernigan.com Our family is begging anyone with information so we can finally rest and we need everyones help... thanks.

  • mindyourown Sep 24, 2007

    Hmmm.. reading all the news headlines here this morning, it isn't all Raleigh or Wake County! There's shootings, assaults, robbery attempts, going on all over the place. Funny how we can't comment on none of them, only this one. Reread the headliners, read the names, look at the photo's, need I say more? Useless, worthless human beings are what they are!

  • carrese Sep 24, 2007


    Of course you're right! SBI's numbers on the official NC Dept. of Justice site must be wrong! Homicide in Wake County and Raleigh have increased every year since 2001 except for 2005 to 2006. The website is ncdoj.com, check it out and get informed. Someone of your esteemed calibre needs to know these things.

  • doobedobedoodoo Sep 24, 2007

    A case would not be "cleared" if there was "absolutely no evidence." Once again, another brilliant comment...and once again more denigration the men and women in blue with the "cooked numbers" comment.

    Well, it the hour when the tin-foil-hat crowd comes out. I can't waste anymore time with them.

    Goodnight. Oh, if something goes bump in the night--you know who you'll be calling to come save you!!!