As gun violence rises in Fresno, more murders go unsolved

Fresno Police's case clearance rate is usually about 65%, but it's down to a little over 40% this year.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Valerie and Rondy Packard are living with heartbreak after the murder of their daughter Ronshanque Packard.

The grieving parents have come to the Shaw and Holt intersection where she was killed every day since her death, praying over the candles that now sit in her memory.

Packard's murder is one of many murder cases Fresno police are investigating as the city sees a spike in homicides.

This year to date, there have been 50 murders.

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That's compared to the 35 cases the department had this time last year.

As the number of killings increase, it's also impacting the department's ability to solve cases.

Their clearance rate is usually about 65%, but it's down to a little over 40% this year.

"The fact is that we've had murders back to back, so we had five murders and some officer-involved shootings in about a 36-hour time span over the weekend. It does stretch resources a bit," says Lt. Harry Bowlan.

Fresno Sgt. Chris Serrano with the homicide unit says their division is made up of about 10 detectives, who are all investigating more cases than usual.

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Resources, however, aren't the biggest challenge as he says they have at least 30 other detectives from other divisions they can utilize to help.

"The biggest challenge that we face is getting the community to come forward with information," Serrano says.

The department is asking witnesses to speak up so that families, like the Packards, can have some justice for the daughter and young mother taken too soon.
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