Springfield investigators work open homicide cases

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Springfield police detectives are keeping busy this year, with nine homicides on their hands, two cases are still open.

Last year, there were eight homicides in the city. All but one have resolved.

Many cases have good leads and obvious suspects. Others remain unsolved sometimes for years.

No matter how long it takes, detectives will continue to work every angle and look into every tip.

"It's the worst possible crime, the taking of someone's life and so we have to go in there and find out everything," says Lt. Culley Wilson with Springfield Police.

He heads up Springfield's Criminal Investigations. His team is focused on solving the most violent crimes in town, like the two homicides that happened on Hamilton Street earlier this year.

"Those are probably our most complicated ones right now. We are still looking at everything just because there were so many people involved and witnesses," he says.

Every investigation, no matter when the crime happened, is important.

"It's not like, oh this one's easier, I don't have to put in as much work on it. We still go in a hundred percent to try to uncover every bit of information," explains Wilson.

As with a case more than a year old.

"The Landon Bays homicide, which is from last year, we're still working on that and making progress on that," he says.

"That's my little brother. It's really hard to keep hope that's for sure," says Brooke Bays.

She holds her brother close.

"He left me a sweet note that I always think about. on the back of a painting he'd given me for one of my birthdays. It pretty much said, whatever I want to do, no matter what it is, no matter how impossible it seems, just do it. Be the best at it. I think about that all the time," she says.

She says her family is still waiting for answers.

"I know that over time, you just got to keep moving forward. “It is hard to keep patience. We just have to trust. We know that they're doing their job," she says.

Wilson says, "It's tough. Oh, it's very tough. You're sitting here talking to a victim's family and you know something you can't tell them at that point because it's just, it will not help the case."

While investigators continue to resolve Landon Bay's killing, his family will carry on his memory.

"I'm hoping that we can all find a way to live to our fullest potential be as ambitious as he was and have any parts of him live through us," says Bays.

Springfield's homicide rate is well below average compared to other, similar sized cities across the country.