Friends remember Valdosta man after weekend murder

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By: Emma Wheeler | WCTV Eyewitness News
March 13, 2018

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WCTV) -- Friends and neighbors remember Emmitt Howard Dennis after the Valdosta man lost his life in a weekend stabbing.

It started as a party on Saturday night. Valdosta police said there was a disagreement, and the next day Dennis was found dead in his home.

"Emmitt, he was a nice man. He was the best friend I ever had. I was homeless, he brought me in to his house, fed me," said one of Dennis' friends, who wished to remain anonymous.

VPD were called Sunday morning to the Forrestwood Apartments in the 2500 block of Forrestwood Drive. Police said the caller had helped Dennis to bed the night before, but found him lying in the same position Sunday morning.

"It's hurting me now, because I miss him," said Dennis' friend. "We didn't argue, we didn't fuss, we didn't do anything. We just laughged and talked, that's all we did everyday."

Many of his neighbors turned to friends, already left with an empty spot in their hearts.

On Tuesday, Elijah Arnold turned himself in to the Valdosta Police Department. He is now in the Lowndes County Jail on charges of felony murder, aggravated assault and possession of a knife during a commission of a felony.

Officials said information on court dates or if Arnold is eligible for bond could be available on Wednesday.

By: WCTV Eyewitness News
March 13, 2018

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WCTV) -- The suspect in the murder of Emmitt Dennis in Valdosta has turned himself into authorities, the Valdosta Police Department said.

VPD says 40-year-old Elijah Arnold turned himself in around 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, and was transported to the Lowndes County Jail without incident.

Officials say Arnold faces charges of murder, aggravated assault and possession of a knife during a commission of a felony.

By: WCTV Eyewitness News
March 13, 2018

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WCTV) -- The Valdosta Police Department is searching for a man wanted on murder charges.

At 9:37 a.m. Sunday, VPD officers, along with Valdosta firefighters and paramedics, responded to a residence in the 2500 block of Forrestwood Drive for a report of a man who was not breathing.

At the scene, first responders located the unresponsive man, later identified as 53-year-old Emmitt Howard Dennis. Dennis was pronounced dead at the scene.

The person who called police said they had helped Dennis to bed the night before and then called 911 the next morning when they noticed Dennis was still laying in the same position.

During the death investigation, detectives, crime scene personnel, and the Lowndes County Deputy Coroner found what appeared to be a stab wound on Dennis’ torso.

Through the continued investigation, investigators learned that Dennis had been involved in a physical altercation with a known subject. Police say there was a party or gathering outside and the altercation broke out.

An autopsy later confirmed that Dennis had died from a stab wound and his death was ruled a homicide.

Through the course of the investigation, detectives identified the suspect involved in the physical altercation with Dennis as 40-year-old Elijah Arnold. Police say there was no immediate relationship between the suspect and the victim, but the two did know each other.

Arrest warrants were signed for Elijah Arnold on charges of felony murder, aggravated assault and possession of a knife during the commission of a felony.

At this time, Arnold remains at large. Police say they have spoken with the suspect but his whereabouts are unknown.

VPD Chief Brian Childress said, "Although this incident saddens us, the patrol officers, detectives, crime scene technicians, the Lowndes County Coroner’s Office, and the GBI’s Medical Examiner followed the established procedures that require a careful and meticulous death investigation process, that is followed on any unattended death. In this case, the death was ruled a homicide and the protocol followed will ensure a successful prosecution and justice for the victim."

VPD Lieutenant Adam Bembry added, "If anyone sees Arnold, they are asked to call 911. Arnold is described as being approximately 5’5 in height and weighing approximately 130-140 pounds. Do not approach this subject, he is to be considered dangerous."

Police say the investigation is ongoing.

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