Valdosta Cold Case Unit Revisits Homicides

By: Gabrielle Sarann Email
By: Gabrielle Sarann Email

Valdosta, Georgia - June 15, 2011

"It's a great feeling that you can go back and tell that family that you didn't give up and that you kept going," says LT Leslie Manahan with the Valdosta Police Department.

Investigators with Valdosta PD's Cold Case Unit did just that when they called murder victim Ventura Ortiz's family in Mexico.

Police told them that Charmetrice Davis, 34, is charged with Ortiz's murder.

"Some key facts were actually brought up by a witness, which in turn lead us to believe she was our suspect," says Manahan.

The team of nine meet every two to three months to revisit missing persons cases and unsolved murders.

A second set of eyes can do the trick.

"Everybody goes through the case file," adds Manahan. "People look at it together. One person might look over a piece of evidence that a second person actually does find."

Since 2000, just two homicides remain a mystery.

In 2006, Antwan Mathis was found shot to death in his Chevy Blazer near the Ashley Cinema.

And two years later, Milton Jones, a father of five, was found lying in a pool of blood near the Southside Library.

For Manahan, solving that case would have special significance.

"Being there from the beginning and going through it," she explains. "And you know it can be solved. Just to give it closure would just mean a lot."

Valdosta's cold case team is also working to solve murders from 1990 and 1996.

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