DeKalb County police are hoping media exposure can help solve the cold cases of two women brutally murdered in DeKalb County.
The cases of Tamekia Taylor, 27, of Lithonia and Jennifer Clemmings, 32, of Stone Mountain were highlighted in a January 2020 upload of the Crime Watch Daily YouTube series, hosted by Chris Hansen of “Dateline NBC” and “To Catch a Predator” fame. So far, the 15 minute video has received more than 100,000 views.
On the surface, the murders of Taylor and Clemmings seem eerily similar.
Both women, who were single and successful in their careers, were stabbed to death inside of their homes. Both women were sexually assaulted. And both women were murdered in a six week timespan and lived about six miles away from each other.
Yet, a DeKalb County investigator believes two different predators are responsible for the murders of Taylor and Clemmings.
“I do not believe the person responsible for killing Tamekia Taylor is responsible for killing Jennifer Clemmings,” Lt. Rod Bryant told Crime Watch Daily.
Both women were murdered in 2002. At the scene of Taylor’s homicide, police recovered bloody footprints, fingerprints and DNA.
Then, when Clemmings was murdered about six weeks later, a shocking piece of evidence surfaced; Clemmings had called a friend and left a voicemail during her attack.
The first thing heard is Clemmings’ phone dropping to the floor and then the sound of Clemmings trying to talk down an angry male.
“That voicemail recorded a voice exchange between Jennifer and the suspect, and it lasted for about 30 seconds,” said Bryant.
“During the recording she stated ‘I’m gonna give you your money, I’m gonna pay you back your money.’ That suspect was basically telling her to be still, to quit playing, what he’s about to do to her, he’s about to sexually assault her,” said Bryant.
“Her voice was very afraid, very shaky. You even heard her saying a small prayer.” The voicemail cuts off shortly after that prayer.
Bryant describes the male’s voice as distinctly Southern.
He also said the repeated demand of money owed to the suspect may give motive in Clemmings’ case.
Police speculate that both women may have been familiar with their killers and let them inside their homes.
For now, police are aiming for as many people as possible to hear the voicemail left during Clemmings’ attack in the hopes that someone will recognize the voice.
With the cases featured on Crime Watch Daily and an episode of “The DNA of Murder with Paul Holes,” scheduled to premiere on the Oxygen channel sometime this year, viewers from across the world are likely to learn more about Taylor and Clemmings’ cases.
Detectives said they do believe both of these cases can be solved once the right tip comes in.
“We have evidence, we just have to match it to an offender,” said Bryant.
There is a $5,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction.
Those with any information about the murders of Tamekia Taylor or Jennifer Clemmings are asked to contact Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 1-404-577-TIPS.