APD rules Northwest Austin suspicious death a homicide

The Austin Police Department said a man found dead in his Northwest Austin home last week was murdered. This is just the latest case APD’s homicide division is handling. They're currently investigating five homicides.

Detectives with the homicide unit said they haven’t had a homicide investigation since early September. Then in the month of November they had a shooting investigation, and five homicides all within a couple weeks. Some of the cases the suspects are still on the loose.

“You lose a lot of sleep. Last year at the same time, we had the same phenomenon occur where in a short period of time at the end of the year we had a spike in the number of murders,” said Lt. Justin Newsome of the Austin Police Department.               

Newsome is part of the homicide unit at APD. “Homicide unit at APD is investigating the shooting of Judge Kocurek, after that we have had five murders in two weeks,” he said.

Two of those five murder suspects are behind bars, One has been identified, but is still on the loose, 
APD said they are looking for Darius Bailey and an unidentified suspect in connection with the shooting murder of Richard Rosenburg on November 12th.

APD found the body of 75-year-old Phillip Liberty in his Northwest Austin home, last Thursday. An autopsy was performed and APD ruled his death a homicide. Wednesday, 74-year-old Chris Whitmarsh was found murdered in his Southeast Austin home. Suspects have not been named in either of these cases.

APD said with a shooting investigation, 5 homicides, and only 14 people working on the homicide unit, it means long hours for detectives.

“Our detectives will work 24-30 hours straight, without going home while they're following up on leads until they can get to a point where we can shut it down,” Lt. Newsome said. He said their work won't stop until all murder suspects are behind bars. “You can't stop and go home and take a nap when there's a murderer potentially that needs to be caught .”

APD is asking anyone with any information with any of these murder cases to contact them. They said it doesn't matter how minute it is, it could be something that helps them piece together the puzzles of these investigations.

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