No Arrests in Nine Peoria Murders

By Ashley McNamee

July 15, 2010 Updated May 20, 2010 at 10:48 PM CDT

A Peoria County Coroner's Jury says the deaths of four people last month were all homicides.

For these deaths, and several other recent murders, police have no one in custody.

Family members of Taji Cross attended Thursday's inquest hearings in hopes of learning more about how she died.

"We haven't been told much of anything. Just the shock of it, my family is just trying to deal with the idea," said Angela Bolden, Cross' cousin.

A police detective testified 21-year-old Taji Cross was found in her apartment April 27th, with bruises on her neck, consistent with strangulation marks. The jury took little time before ruling her death a homicide.

"Just for how she died, we just assumed it would be easy for them to track down information, she lived in an apartment building with lots of people and no one heard anything," said Bolden.

Police say they have no suspects in the murder of Taji Cross. Peoria has now had 12 homicides in 2010 police have no one in custody for nine of them.

"They haven't been caught yet, but we do know who is responsible for those cases," said Peoria Police Officer Doug Burgess.

Burgess is referring to the arson on North University that killed four people in April and the city's most recent murder of Nick Renfro in Taft Homes Sunday. In both cases, suspects have been named, they just haven't been found.

In the other murders, police say just because they haven't named a suspect doesn't mean the cases are stalled. Burgess says that is especially the case with Cross' murder.

"We do have more information than what is made known, but it is also something that is very critical to the investigation and we don't want to release it because it is something only someone involved in the case might know," he said.

For the family members of the unsolved homicide victims, this time without answers isn't getting easier.

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