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Do you have the missing piece?

Last week, Demopolis police chief Tommie Reese and district attorney Greg Griggers secured a $5,000 reward from Gov. Bob Riley for information that would lead to an arrest and conviction in the unsolved murder of Randy Warren.

Randy Warren’s death occurred on Feb. 16, 2008, on Ash Street in Demopolis.

I spoke to Chief Reese Friday, and he said the reward was still out there for those who could help lead police to an arrest.

“I hope that someone with information will come forth and help bring the person or persons involved to justice and bring closure to the Warren family,” Reese said.

“The Warren family and the entire community of Demopolis need to know that law enforcement will do everything in its power to give them a peaceful existence.”

I won’t even pretend that I can imagine the kind of pain that would accompany losing a loved one in such a violent manner. To have a family member ripped from you so unexpectedly, and for no good reason, must be a kind of pain that’s difficult to describe.

In 2007, there were nearly 17,000 murders in the United States; 412 of those were in Alabama.

Considering there are 50 states in the Union, that’s more than our fair share. What’s encouraging is that 2007’s number isn’t significantly higher than those in 1960.

You can credit that to improved police strategies over the years, including those set in motion by leaders of the Demopolis and Marengo County law enforcement agencies.

Great strides have been made in investigations, which has made getting away with this crime much less likely. Also, many of these crimes are tied to economic condition, which has steadily improved over the past 40-plus years.

When economic condition falters, that’s where police work and know-how comes in as a deterrent.

Anyone with information in the murder of Randy Warren is asked to call the Demopolis Police Department at (334) 289-3073 or the DPD Tip Line at (334) 289-1475. You may have the missing piece to a puzzle that has troubled this city and a local family for more than a year.