Brittany Patrice Jenkins of East Point, Ga., was a frequent visitor to Columbus before a weekend trip abruptly ended with gunfire at the Best Western motel.
Ten days before Christmas and less than three weeks before the end of 2013, Jenkins is the 21st homicide in Columbus and one of six still unsolved by the police department.
Detectives are still looking for clues that could lead to a suspect in the deaths of Brenda Lowe, 52; Kristan Blake Dozier, 20; Shannon "Scooter" Fields Jr., 20; Vashun L. "Kojak" Ramsey, 36; and Andy Phillip, 30.
Brittany Patrice Jenkins
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Police Lt. Greg Touchberry was on duty when officers were called to the Macon Road hotel on Nov. 23 to investigate a shooting during a robbery.
During their probe, police became aware of a number of social media websites used by Jenkins, 25.
"I can tell you she frequented that hotel just about every weekend for a while," the detective said.
A day before Jenkins, who has a daughter, was shot in the back and died in surgery at Midtown Medical Center, she posted the words "living good" on a Facebook page in her name.
Part of the investigation has included checks of her cell phone as well as Facebook and other websites, and police have questioned about 20 people.
"They are still doing interviews on people we can show who were at that hotel," Touchberry said.
Phillip was found dead Oct. 9 in his mother's 1997 Mazda Protege outside 2934 Branton Woods Drive. He had a gunshot wound to the back, and bullets apparently had been fired into the vehicle through the rear passenger window.
Touchberry said officers conducted more interviews last week.
So far, they have executed about six search warrants and talked to more than two dozen people for information in a shooting that does not appear to be random. Police are still awaiting results on tests performed on items inside the car.
"We don't have enough right now to charge anybody with it," Touchberry said. "There are some people we have shown a lot of interest in but as far as making a case, obviously I need a little bit more. Any time you get called out and there is a dead fellow sitting in a car and you don't have too many witnesses it's not the easiest thing to work."
An analysis on items taken from the car may yield some clues.
"Right now, so much stuff was taken out of the car I couldn't tell you it was the victim or the suspect," Touchberry said. "We've got to wait. If I'm lucky, it will be a suspect."
Vashun L. 'Kojak' Ramsey
Relatives of Ramsey said they are still waiting for answers in his death. The unemployed father of seven children was shot in the face in the living room of Renaissance Villa Apartments, 2701 Buena Vista Road, on April 27.
The Muscogee County coroner said the bullet fired at Ramsey lodged in his neck. A woman and one of his children were unharmed in the shooting.
People who knew Ramsey described him as someone who faced challenges while growing up in Columbus. He battled drug problems and had been charged with burglary, cruelty to children, possession of a firearm and other crimes. Jail records show he has been booked in the lockup more than 20 times since 1993.
The death of Fields came exactly one month before Ramsey was killed. Fields was the victim of multiple shots from an AK-47 rifle assault on March 27 at the Foxy Lady Lounge, 3023 Victory Drive. His death sparked a protest from neighborhood groups, calling attention to gun violence.
About 15 months before his death, Fields was acquitted of murder in the shotgun slaying of 30-year-old Army veteran Waylon Glenn James Jr. at 917 Decatur Court on Dec. 12, 2011.
Fields was accused of assisting another suspect who shot James in the head and robbed him of $3,000 in cash and a 9 mm pistol.
Police have not found a link between Fields' slaying and James death, but investigators believe that he had been targeted.
Fields ran into trouble with the law while he was out on bond awaiting his murder trial. He was driving a vehicle with an expired tag when police learned the vehicle had been stolen. After pleading guilty on Aug. 6, 2012, to theft by receiving stolen property, Fields avoided prison with a sentence of five years probation and 120 hours of community service.
Kristan Blake Dozier
In the search for a suspect in Dozier's death, police Lt. Debra Bohannon said detective Ivan Rome is leading the efforts on various leads in the case. Dozier was shot Jan. 28 in the street at Wilson Apartments, 3016 Sixth Ave. He had a minor gunshot to his left forearm, but died from a shot that was fired into the back of his left shoulder and lodged in his right cheek.
Dozier had a First Avenue address where he lived with his grandmother, and it was unknown why he was at the public housing complex.
Investigators are still working the case daily, police said.
"At this time, we are not prepared to release a suspect name but assure the Dozier family and the public that we continue to passionately investigate Blake's murder on a daily basis," Bohannon said in a statement.
Lowe was the second homicide of the year in Columbus. The former Carver High School janitor was found stabbed to death on Jan. 8 at her 2937 Thomas St. apartment. Authorities said there was blood on the ceiling.
Active on the Internet, Lowe was fond of the Georgia Lottery's Cash 4 game and had recently won, relatives said.
An investigation has revealed that Lowe communicated with different people on the Internet, Touchberry said. A person who knew Lowe from Fort Benning recently spoke to police but was unable to give any new or updated information.
"Right now, we are not any closer to making an arrest than yesterday," he said.