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FMPD murder-clearance rate averages 33 percent since 2012


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FMPD murder-clearance rate averages 33 percent since 2012

By Gabrielle Sarann. CREATED Apr 25, 2014

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The most recent unsolved killing in Fort Myers has Fox 4 finding out how many murders remain open cases.

Last Wednesday, 40-year-old Tony Seay's wife discovered him shot to death at the intersection of Marlyn Rd and Monte Vista Street.

"That could be your daughter and your son or your husband," said Seay's wife, Megan Behen, while fighting back tears.

A Fox 4 investigation discovered that 20 minutes before police found Seay's body, they got a call of shots fired in that very same area. But an officer closed the call 10 minutes later after claiming he went out there and found nothing. Seven minutes later, neighbors discovered Seay's body nearby. 

"There's a hospital right there," said Behen. "Maybe it wouldn't have turned out any different but maybe there would have been a chance that it could have."

And at a neighborhood watch meeting last night, the Edison Park community aired their concerns to the police chief. 

"We never had anything like this," said Ann Senseman, of Fort Myers. "We'd leave the doors open unless we were out of town."

It's why some residents want police to do more. We checked and averaged that over the last three years the FMPD's murder clearance rate is 33.3 percent. This year one of the city's two murders is solved. Last year, three out of 10 were cleared. And in 2012, a record year for the city, just eight of its 24 murders led to an arrest, according to the FMPD.

"There's been so many innocent people killed in the city of Fort Myers," said Trish Routte, the spokeswoman for Crime Stoppers. "It's got to stop."

But Routte points out that the city has come a long way in fighting crime. That it's mostly the same offenders responsible for unsettling scenes like the one that played out last Wednesday night.

"There's a very small pool of people committing a very large number of these crimes," explained Routte.

Fox 4 reached out to the police chief. He declined an interview but in a statement, he said the following:

“We continue to work closely with the community and our law enforcement partners. With this combination of proven strategies we had a 60% solve rate in 2013 and a 50% solve rate in 2014 thus far. In 2013 we had a 58% reduction in homicides from the previous year.”