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A glimpse into Springfield's unsolved murders

A glimpse into Springfield's unsolved murders (WICS){ }

One of the suspects accused of killing Alaysia Bennett, 19, was in court Thursday.

Devontae Taylor is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, attempted armed robbery and aggravated discharge of a firearm.

His bond was set at $2 million.

Bennett was shot while sitting in a parked car in December.

The investigation into Bennett's murder continues.

Before two suspects were arrested, the case went cold for more than 9 months.

There are thousands of unsolved murders across the state, there are more than 50 unsolved murders right here in Springfield.

Nicki Renfro lost her son in a 2003 double murder in Springfield, an arrest has never been made.

"I do work the case every day," she said. "I've worked it every day for 14 years."

Recent arrests in Bennett's case are encouraging to Renfro.

"My diligence in wanting to solve the crime, it kind of pushes me forward," Renfro said.

Renfro is not alone.

"It is a disturbing statistic, but most homicide perpetrators are arrested and we do everything we can to make sure the apprehensions take place," said Springfield Police Officer Michael Badger.

Solving murders takes a tremendous amount of resources, Badger said.

"It involves hundreds and sometimes thousands of hours of investigative work," he said.

It's especially encouraging to police when a previously unsolved murder is brought to light.

"When you do have an arrest, it's reached the point where they've established the case, I think it always gives the officers hope," Badger said.

For Renfro, one of the hardest parts of dealing with her son's unsolved crime is the unknown.

"Knowing that that person that did it is looking at you every day," she said. "I mean you don't know if you passed them on the street, in the grocery store. They could be the one handing you your burger at McDonald's."

Three of Springfield's 13 homicides this year remain unsolved.

In Sangamon County, the last unsolved murder happened in July of 2016 when a man was shot and killed on the 700 block of Forest.

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