Baltimore County police reported 23 homicides in 2012 with all but three cases solved.
The county's average homicide clearance rate was 89.8 percent from 2007 through 2011, above the national average of about 65 percent, according to a statement from the department.
In 2012, 12 victims were killed in domestic-related incidents, while three were killed by acquaintances, three were killed in non-random, drug-related incidents, the statement said. In five cases, police had not found a clear relationship between the victim and the suspect.
The three unsolved cases include the killings of Janell Earlita Balogun, whose body was found June 10 in woods in Oella; Keyon Henry, who was with a friend on Claybrooke Drive in Woodlawn when a man approached them and shot him June 29; and Alsawab Sawab, who was shot outside his apartment in Towson Nov. 25.
From 2008 through 2012, police reported the lowest average total number of criminal homicides since 1981.
County police reported 30 criminal homicides in 2011, 20 in 2010, 31 in 2009, 30 in 2008, and 36 in 2007.
"While homicide numbers do vary from year to year, this drop in the County's homicide rate is a tribute to the hard work of Chief [James W.] Johnson and the men and women of the Baltimore County Police Department," Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz said in a statement.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun