20th homicide of the year reported in Des Moines - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

20th homicide of the year reported in Des Moines

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Police in Des Moines are conducting a homicide investigation after discovering a man's body inside a home Saturday morning.

Police responded to 2020 East 14th Street just after 2 a.m. on a report of an altercation with a request for police and paramedics.

Officers arrived on the scene and found the body of Travis Alan Williams, 31, of Earlham, inside the home.

Two residents from inside the home, Ali Cano, 19, and Whitney Campbell, 18, both of Des Moines, were taken to a local hospital.

"Initially the thought this was a home invasion; detectives are still trying to determine if that's the case, or not," said Sgt. Joseph Frentress with the Des Moines Police Department. "I'd say a majority of the time they're not a random act.

There is some connection between the parties involved, whether they know them, or their friends know them, or there's some reason that draws a person to a certain location."

This is the 20th homicide of the year in Des Moines - a higher number than the city has seen in 19 years.

But Sgt. Frentress doesn't believe it's a Des Moines-specific phenomenon.

"If you see nationally, I think the trends are that the homicide rates are going up," he said. "You know, Kansas City's homicide rate is up, Chicago's is up. I know from reading an article, Minnesota, there they had like a five percent increase in major crime. So, I don't know if it's specifically a Des Moines issue, I think it's more of a national issue."

Sgt. Frentress' claims are backed up by data, too; a New York Times analysis in August revealed more than 30 U.S. cities reporting increased violence in 2015.

For neighbor Chuck Pemberton, the intruder - who police say died in the altercation - got the justice he deserved.

"Unfortunately, this is still the east side," he said. "You come into somebody's house, you kind of deserve what you get."

At the conclusion of the investigation, the case will be presented to the County Attorney.

(Information from this article was provided by  AND  of WHOTV in Des Moines...)

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