A woman and her dog were stabbed to death in an Atlanta park on Wednesday, July 28, according to People Magazine.
Officers responded to reports of a stabbing in Piedmont Park around 1:10 a.m., according to the Atlanta Police Department. The victim, identified as 40-year-old Katie Janness, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Authorities described the scene, initially discovered by a passerby at the Charles Allen entrance of the park, as “gruesome”, People Magazine reported.
Janness was last seen on surveillance footage walking her dog near the rainbow crosswalk at 10th Street and Piedmont Ave, police released in a statement.
According to U.S. News, mourners left flowers, as well as dog treats, near the park entrance where Janness’ body was found.
AJC News reported that the killing comes as many Atlanta residents remain on edge amid the rise of violent crimes in the city. Atlanta police have investigated at least 82 homicides since the start of the year.
On Wednesday, Gov. Brian Kemp announced that he would use $2 million in emergency money to fund a newly formed “crime suppression unit” to combat crime in Atlanta.
“The park is safe and we are going to increase patrols in and around the park,” said Chata Spikes, APD’s director of public affairs. “We want the public to know that the park is safe.”
Authorities have declined to release additional details about the fatal stabbing, citing the ongoing investigation, according to AJC News. The department reminded residents that city parks are closed each night from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Investigators are offering a $10,000 reward for information regarding the slaying. Tips can remain anonymous, and be eligible for rewards of up to $2,000, by contacting Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-8477, texting information to 274637 or visiting the Crime Stoppers website.