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Fear grows after murder, crime going up in normally quiet neighborhood

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BATON ROUGE - Unanswered questions still surround a shocking murder in Sherwood Forest. Nessa Hartley was fatally shot dropping off her friend on Brookshire Ave. Tuesday night, the eve of her 57th birthday. Police do not have a suspect or motive yet. The murder is scaring those who live nearby.

“That’s a little too close for comfort,” said Naomi Mishot who lives in Sherwood Forest. Naomi and her husband Justin Mishot were walking their dog Friday night, like they normally do. But knowing the person who killed Hartley hasn't been caught, they're on edge.

“Hopefully it’s not someone who lives in this area, and there’s a murderer walking around trying not to get caught. That’s the scariest thought,” said Justin.

Everyone who lives here, says the neighborhood is safe. But statistics show crime is going up.

Baton Rouge police districts are broken up into zones. Three zones make up the majority of the Sherwood Forest Crime Prevention District. Within the crime district boundaries, crime statistics show there have been 5 homicides over a 15 year span between 2001 and 2016. In the last two years that number has gone up, there have been 13 total in 2017 and 2018.

“I was surprised more than anything, it still doesn't feel that dangerous to me,” said Justin.

Assaults from 2011 to last year have also doubled, and crime thefts from the same time stayed consistent until the last two years when they rose. The majority of the crimes happen on the edges of the neighborhood.

The Mishot's like others are now left worrying, wondering if they're safe near their home.

“I have my dog, but she’s inside when I get home. So being in my car just like the women were, yeah it’s very scary,” said Naomi.

Police have been collecting home surveillance videos in the Brookshire, Havenwood and Woodcliff areas looking for the suspect. The Sherwood Forest Crime District is also in the process of adding cameras and license plate readers at all 19 entrances into the neighborhood.

If anyone has information on this crime call the Violent Crimes Unit at 389-4869 or Crime Stoppers at 344-7867.


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