WARREN TOWNSHIP - Until 2012, the township had gone 10 years without a homicide. Then it had two.
Now as 2012 closes and 2013 opens, police Lt. Don Bishop hopes to close both cases soon.
Bishop has been working on the homicides of 42-year-old Valerie Warren and 28-year-old Jamaul Jones.
Warren was found shot to death April 5 on Seventh-Howard Street near Highland Avenue S.W. Police think she was lying in the street for at least six hours before she was found by a Tribune Chronicle newspaper driver.
Jones had been shot and was left in a field for several days before his body was found July 12 on Dover Avenue S.W.
Bishop said in Warren's case, investigators got a good start but ran into a dead end after a couple of weeks.
He said they found out Warren had called for a cab just before they think she was killed, but before police could talk to the dispatcher of the cab company, he died of a heart attack, Bishop said.
''We started out like a ball of fire then we got stuck,'' Bishop said.
He said investigators were able to track their movements right up to the point they believe she was shot, but since then the case has gone cold.
''We know where she was right up until she died,'' Bishop said.
In Warren's case, Bishop said the family has offered a ''substantial'' cash reward for information leading to the person who killed her. He would not say how much money they are offering other than to say it was a large amount.
Jones was last seen alive at a Meadowbrook Avenue S.E. home in Warren for a meeting about two days before he was found. At the same home about two days before the meeting, his family said he was forced into a car by a masked man.
An autopsy concluded that Jones was shot several times, and he had at least one gunshot wound in each of his legs.
There are some people police are interested in for Jones' death but Bishop said there are still a lot of dots to connect. He said police are receiving leads regularly on Jones' case.
''It's putting it all together,'' Bishop said. ''We still have a long way to go.''
Bishop said he wants to feature both cases on Crimestoppers in January.
The last shooting death in the township was November 2002 when Bobby Lee Hughley III, 24, was killed during a birthday celebration at the American Legion Post 564 on Bane St. S.W. In that case, Daryl "Silk" Henderson was cleared of murder charges by a Trumbull County grand jury.
Before that, the last homicide in the township was in 1998.