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Columbia detective assigned to work cold cases

ABC 17 News confirmed Tuesday that the Columbia Police Department has allocated a detective to work cold cases when new leads come in.

One year ago, the department vowed to add two detectives to its Criminal Investigation Division with money from the new year’s budget.

Spokesman Jeff Pitts said that one of those detectives works in the Crimes Against Children portion of the unit, and the other detective works active robberies and homicides but will switch gears to an old, open case when new information is discovered.

On Dec. 11, 2017, Augustus Roberts was killed in Columbia’s Old Hawthorne subdivision. At the time, police released few details and shared no suspect information. One year later, Pitts said there are no updates in the case that can be made public.

In August, ABC 17 News reported there were six open homicide investigations in Columbia between 2016 and 2017, including Roberts’ death. Pitts said he is inquiring as to the status of the other five investigations and if there are any updates there.

Gabrielle Rhodes, April 25, 2016 Edmund “Ricky” Randolph, June 24, 2016 Michael Walker, March 26, 2017 Jeffrey Jones, March 26, 2017 Jamar Hicks, July 16, 2017 While the homicide rate hit a 20 year high in 2017, the numbers have dropped for 2018. There have been 6 homicides this year, and five have resulted in an arrest or criminal charges. Only the death of Charles Hayes Jr. on Oct. 13 near Rice Road remains open.

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