ATLANTA -- They found a single shell casing at the scene where Beverly Jenkins was left to die. But over a month later, that single clue - and a new crime - may have led police to the person responsible for this local woman’s murder.
In the days that followed the Aug. 12 crime, police had few answers regarding this murder on Westview Drive and Hopkins Street – or at least few that they announced publicly. But that changed on Monday when police responded to a carjacking where the victim was shot twice and, according to Michael O’Connor, easily could have died had she not gotten to Grady Memorial Hospital in time.
Two more casings and 24 hours - that’s all investigators needed to tie Khalid Bays and Adarius Jones to the murder of a woman known for her generosity – and, now, remembered for the kindness she’ll never get to show another person. That’s because those two pieces of brass were a match for the one found near where Jenkins died.
Investigators ended up uncovering the names of Bays and Jones along with the car they allegedly took on Monday. The very next day, O'Connor said officers saw that stolen car on the road and were quick to try and make an arrest. But Bays and Jones were also pretty quick to make a run for it.
“When they blue-lighted the vehicle a chase ensued,” O’Connor said. “During the course of that chase the suspect vehicle wrecked at Maddox Park at the basketball court.”
Jones was caught near the wrecked car and now faces charges of murder, armed robbery and two counts of aggravated assault with intent to rob.
But police are still looking for his alleged accomplice – and they’re worried.
“Because of the random nature of these crimes and the extreme that they’ve shown toward the victims, catching him is of extreme importance to the Atlanta police department,” O’Connor said.
Now they have new questions. Police still don’t know where Bays could be so they’re asking everyone to be on the alert. They believe he may have changed his hairstyle but said that everything else about him should be the same – including an aggression that surprised even seasoned officers.
“His level of violence is unusual among offenders,” O’Connor said.
Police have also questioned two other people who were there the night Jenkins died. But they said those two were far less of a priority - though O'Connor couldn't elaborate on why.
“It’s still an ongoing investigation," he said. "Just know that we have those people identified and if we had the same level of concern we’d have taken a different approach with them.”
He said it would be up to the district attorney's office to decide if they face charges as well.
Investigators are asking for the public to help find Bays and suggest information be submitted to Crime Stoppers Atlanta by tipline at 404-577-8477 (TIPS) or at the Crime Stoppers website.
Tipsters can remain anonymous and still be eligible for a $2,000 reward.