Many Durham homicides still remain unsolved

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – In 2015 Durham nearly doubled its homicide rate from the year before with 42 murders.

WNCN has learned 13 of those killings remain unsolved.

Former Hillside High basketball star Johnny McClain is one of the unsolved cases.

“I just kept saying not Johnny.  Johnny!  I couldn’t believe it was Johnny,” said a relative who asked to remain anonymous out fear.

“I’d like to see them get caught and punished,” the relative told WNCN.

McClain was 22 when he was shot to death last March near the intersection of Holloway and Rochelle.  He was driving at the time and two of his passengers were also shot, but survived.

“We want to solve all of our homicides,” said homicide commander Lt. Sheldon Perkins.

Boone had requested to speak to the interim police chief about killers roaming Durham streets but Perkins talked to WNCN instead.  The lieutenant stressed there are many reasons why some cases go unsolved, including lack of witness cooperation and lack of physical evidence.

Perkins stressed, though, his investigators never stop digging.  “We never have a homicide case that goes inactive.”

DPD has eight homicide investigators and three supervisors working to clear cold cases.  Boone asked if that is enough.  “We’re like everybody else, we could always use more resources,” said Perkins.


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