Woman killed in Atlanta park was stabbed, cut over 50 times, autopsy shows

Katherine Janness and her dog, Bowie, were found dead in Piedmont Park in July.

November 13, 2021, 1:24 PM

A woman killed while walking her dog in an Atlanta park this past summer was stabbed and cut over 50 times, according to a medical examiner's report released this week.

Katherine "Katie" Janness, 40, was found dead in Piedmont Park around 1 a.m. on July 28, along with her slain dog, Bowie, in what police described as a "gruesome" scene.

Janness had more than 50 wounds on her face, neck, chest, back, arms and hands, according to the Fulton County medical examiner's report.

"It is my opinion that Katherine Janness died due to sharp force injuries of her face, neck, and torso that caused injuries of major blood vessels and internal organs," Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Karen Sullivan wrote in the report, dated Nov. 10. "The manner of Ms. Janness' death is classified as a homicide."

At least 15 of the cuts were on Janness' face, and more than a dozen were on her lower back, according to the autopsy report. The letters "F," "A" and "T" were also found etched onto her chest, the medical examiner said. Janness also suffered from blunt force injuries.

A photo of stabbing death victim Katherine Janness and her dog Bowie sit among a growing memorial at Piedmont Park in Atlanta, Aug. 3, 2021.
Erik S. Lesser/EPA via Shutterstock

Janness' partner of seven years, Emma Clark, said Janness went to walk Bowie after dinner but didn't return, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Clark tracked Janness' phone's location to Piedmont Park, where she discovered Janness and their dog.

Following the release of the medical examiner's report, Emma Clark's father, Terrell Clark, released a statement on behalf of the family to ABC Atlanta affiliate WSB.

"With today's release of Katie's autopsy report it's more important than ever that the search for her killer be a top priority for APD and the FBI," the statement said. "The report is extremely heartbreaking to read and know the exact nature of what Katie endured in her final moments on this Earth. Whoever is responsible is very disturbed and remains a danger to everyone's safety. Please be vigilant and aware of your surroundings for we would hate for any family to be put through this nightmare."

A notice offering a reward for information about the stabbing death of Katherine Janness and her dog Bowie was distributed by the Atlanta Police Department. Janness and her dog were found dead in Piedmont Park in Atlanta on July 28, 2021.
Atlanta Police Department

The Atlanta Police Department and FBI are investigating the murder, and a $10,000 reward is being offered for information that could help lead to an arrest.

The investigation into Janness' murder "remains open and very active," Officer Steve Avery, a spokesperson for the Atlanta Police Department, told ABC News on Saturday.

"Our investigators continue working tirelessly to find the person(s) responsible," Avery said in a statement. "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."

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Atlanta Police Homicide Unit or Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477 or online.