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Partner of woman found slain in Atlanta park pleads for police to clear her name

By Catherine Catoura, Karyn Greer

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    ATLANTA (WGCL) — It was a tragic case that captured national headlines, a violent murder that left a woman and her dog stabbed to death in Atlanta’s popular Piedmont Park.

Katie Janness’ partner, Emma Clark, was the one who found the bodies and called police. Nearly four months later, and there are still no named suspects nor any new information.

The CBS46 CSI Atlanta team spoke exclusively to Clark regarding what she has learned about the murder. Clark wants people to stop believing she had anything to do with Janness’ murder, and is pleading with Atlanta Police to publicly clear her name.

Clark made the chilling 911 call those few months ago after finding her partner Katie’s bloodied and dead body in the park, their dog Bowie stabbed to death just a few feet away.

“I’m doing the best I can be doing right now,” said Clark, who recently moved from the Midtown apartment she once shared with Katie and their two dogs.

Clark used about 75 percent of the roughly $79,000 raised in the “Katie Gone Too Soon” GoFundMe campaign to pay for her new condo, with the rest going towards Janess’ funeral service and a charitable donation.

“I know they were like ‘why didn’t you give money to the reward fund?’ I ended up buying the condo,” explained Clark. “I moved there with Katie, it was not safe; two shootings in two months, car break-ins.”

Clark still vividly remembers the last time her partner stopped by the restaurant where she still works, while walking Bowie to Piedmont Park.

“She came by the restaurant, I saw her, she said ‘hi, I’m walking the dog then I’m going home,'” said Clark, elaborating that she told police she went straight home after work to see Katie, sometime after midnight.

“I figured she would be home because I saw her at 11:35; I didn’t have the time because I was working,” Clark continued.

She soon realized Janness and Bowie were not home yet, so she hopped back on her bike to go look for them, heading to Piedmont Park.

“I could see Bowie; I didn’t see Katie right away, it was pretty dark,” said Clark. “I was there, I saw her, I went over to see if she was still alive; I ran.”

The CBS46 CSI Atlanta team, wanted to see just how dark it may have been at the time, so they took a walk through Piedmont Park at the same time Katie’s murder would have occurred.

With some questioning if Clark could be a suspect, she said that the answer was ‘no’ according to Atlanta Police.

Clark explained, “they haven’t publicly said that; I’ve been cooperating, they don’t seem to be treating me with any hostility of sorts,” continuing, “they asked me questions, never treated me like they thought I had anything to do with it.”

When asked if they could clear Clark’s name, APD released the following statement:

The investigation into the murder of Katherine Janness remains open and very active. Our investigators continue working tirelessly to find the person(s) responsible. We understand it is frustrating for there to be so little information released publicly. However, to ensure the investigation isn’t compromised, we simply cannot release much information on our active investigation. We know how important this case is to those in our communities and we will continue our work to bring this investigation to a resolution.

Clark told CBS46 that she has been receiving death threats from people who think she is responsible for the murders. She has even bought a gun for her own safety.

“Somebody called my phone, left a voicemail, that’s not ok,” said Clark. “She called me some choice words, said I would be caught; I sent it to police.”

Incidents such as that are why she and her family want APD to publicly clear her name.

“I would like for them to come out and say I had nothing to do with it, nobody in my family had anything to do with it,” said Clark.

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