"Off the charts." That's how police are describing the murder rate in Evansville.
Six murders so far this year, and that's already more murders than all of last year.
Police still haven't released the identity of the body found Thursday night on east Delaware Street, but Evansville resident Jerry Campbell says he believes it's his sister.
Campbell was too upset to appear on TV.
"I lost a love, my sister, and I'll never see her again," Campbell told 14 News.
Campbell says his sister moved in with her boyfriend, 56-year-old Robert Hicks, this month.
Hicks is now charged with murder.
"I told my sister 'Please leave him, because he's going to kill you,'" Campbell said.
Campbell's loss has been felt by five other Evansville families this year. Last year, there were only four murders for the entire year.
"It's off the charts, it's the simplest way to describe it," said EPD PIO Sgt. Jason Cullum.
Of the six homicides, police say four have been a result of domestic violence.
"A lot of times, they want to keep it a secret," said Victim Support Specialist at the Albion Fellows Bacon Center Christina Wicks.
She says despite free, confidential help, many victims aren't seeking it.
"There are so many reasons why they get involved in the situation and stay in the situation," Wicks noted.
Police say nearly half of all violent felonies aren't even properly investigated, because victims sign a non-prosecution waiver.
Wicks says, these forms give victims options to seek help, but not pressing charges can lead to more violence.
"It's scary if their abuser doesn't get into any trouble, because that can just lead to an escalation and it can get worse," said Wicks.
Jerry Campbell says if he knew his sister's abuse would have lead to this, he would have acted sooner.
"I wasn't there to protect my sister. I feel like I failed," he said.
The following is a list of the total number of deaths in each of the past 10 years:
- 2012- 6 (thus far)
- 2011- 4
- 2010- 5
- 2009- 4
- 2008- 5
- 2007- 2
- 2006- 4
- 2005- 7
- 2004- 2
- 2003- 7
- 2002- 4
If you or someone you know has been a victim of domestic violence, you can get help at the Albion Fellows Bacon Center. For more information, click here.