Katherine Janness was found dead in Piedmont Park on Wednesday morning, and police are still searching for a suspect in the gruesome crime. According to police, 40-year-old Janness and her dog were stabbed to death and both bodies were found in the popular Atlanta park around 1:00 a.m. on Wednesday.
The Piedmont Park stabbing was a horrific scene, according to police. One officer admitted the stabbing was unlike anything he had witnessed before. Atlanta Police Deputy Chief Charles Hampton Jr. explained that it was “a gruesome scene,” and that when officers arrived, “they did, in fact, find a female deceased in the park, appears to be from some type of stable wounds.”
The victim’s father-in-law told authorities that Katherine Janness was out walking her dog, Bowie, in Piedmont Park before the stabbing occurred. He claimed Janness told his daughter that she was going out with Bowie but never returned. The victim’s father-in-law said that that Janness and her partner have been together for years and that his daughter is devastated.
While investigators are still trying to determine what happened during the Piedmont Park stabbing, authorities are asking residents in the Atlanta area for any information that can lead to an arrest. A photo taken from a Midtown security camera shows the victim walking her dog across a rainbow-colored crosswalk. The late-night shot is blurry but shows the victim moments before her tragic murder.
As of Thursday morning, no suspects have been identified, however, officers are using security cameras from the park, neighborhood, and the Midtown High School nearby to assist with the investigation. The motive in the Piedmont Park stabbing is unknown.
Lake Clara Meer, which is close to where the incident occurred, has been searched by a dive team in an effort to locate clues. The murder weapon has not been found, and officials are unsure if the attack what a random act or if it was targeted.
Katherine Janness’ body was discovered by a passerby in the park. The scene occurred near the Charles Allen entrance of Piedmont Park on 10th Street. Janness was stabbed multiple times as was the dog. When Atlanta Police arrived on the scene, it was difficult for officers to see.
Hampton told reporters on Wednesday morning that “the darkness is kind of hampering us right now,” but “we are doing a thorough canvas of the park and waiting for daylight as well so we can see if there is more evidence out there to help us solve this crime.” Piedmont Park is 185 acres, which is making it very difficult for investigators to find clues that can lead to an arrest.
According to reports, Katherine Janness was a beloved member of her Atlanta community. She was a bartender in Midtown who was “part of the community” according to her neighbors. “Katie loved this neighborhood,” one of her friends admitted. “She was part of our community and it’s a real loss she’s not going to be here anymore.”
Atlanta Police Department is offering $10,000 to anyone with information that leads to an arrest. Officers urge anyone who knows something about the Piedmont Park stabbing to come forward or call the tip line at 404-577-TIPS (8477).
The request was posted on Twitter and retweeted several times. Reporter Kaitlyn Rossi made the request in a Facebook post on Wednesday, which featured photos of Katherine Janness and her dog, Bowie. Comments on the post were written by Janness’ friends and neighbors.
“The last photo police have of Katie Janness doesn’t show the kindness in her eyes,” Kaitlyn Ross wrote in her Facebook post. “It doesn’t show her sweet spirit or how she cared for her family. Her creativity and great taste in music. It doesn’t show the love she had for her dog, Bowie. I just saw this picture of the two of them together and it broke my heart.”
The reporter continued, saying that Katherine Janness’ “friends and family are horrified beyond words. Looking at this picture of Katie and Bowie, I just know they protected each other to the very end.” Ross reiterated the $10K reward being offered by the Atlanta Police Department and linked it to a verified GoFundMe page to help support Janness’ family.
The GoFundMe page has raised $4,550 as of Thursday morning. All funds are being used to cover “expenses for the unforeseen and unfortunate loss of Katie.”
Katherine Janness’ partner, Emma, wrote a heartfelt message on the page. “Today I lost the love of my life and my baby boy,” she wrote. “It was tragic. She was the most intelligent, kind, humble, and beautiful person I have ever known. I wanted to spend every second with her. He was the sweetest most loyal companion. My heart is so very broken, my world will never be the same. Thank you to everyone who has reached out. It is truly appreciated.”