Reward doubled to $20,000 for information on Piedmont Park murder

The reward for information into the brutal murder of Katherine Janness and her dog, Bowie, has been doubled to $20,000 thanks to an offering by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

The Atlanta Police Department conducted a “tactical canvass” of Piedmont Park on July 31 for clues in the case.

Police continue to appeal to the public for help in finding who stabbed Janness, 40, as she walked Bowie in the early morning hours of  July 28.

Janness, a bartender at Campagnolo restaurant in Midtown, was found by her longtime girlfriend just inside the 10th Street gate of Piedmont Park just after 1 a.m. on Wednesday. Investigators said Janness’ girlfriend discovered her body in the park after pinging her phone when she did not return from walking Bowie.

According to Atlanta Police, Janness was stabbed multiple times in what Deputy Chief Charles Hampton described to the media as a “gruesome” attack. APD has added extra patrols around the park in response to the incident.

Surveillance video obtained by APD shows Janness and Bowie in the rainbow crosswalk at the intersection of 10th and Piedmont shortly before the incident.

APD also confirmed that that the FBI was assisting in the investigation and pushed back on local media for reporting rumors or incorrect information concerning the case. Sgt. John Chaffee with the public affairs unit released a statement on the issue Friday evening.

“The information given to these reporters is false. Flat out false. Yet, they still are publishing it. The number of rumors and speculation circulating around this incident is simply terrible,” Chaffee said in the statement. “We hope media will not be irresponsible with their reporting.”

A candlelight vigil was held on Aug. 1 at 7 p.m. at the 10th Street entrance to the park, where a growing memorial of flowers and notes have been left for Janness and Bowie. A GoFundMe account has been set up to help pay for funeral expenses.

Police Chief Rodney Bryant and Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms are expected to address the murder on Aug. 3 at an 11 .am. during a press conference on crime and the increase in COVID-19 cases.

Anyone who might have information is encouraged to call 911, Crime Stoppers at (404) 577- 8477 or the APD homicide unit at (404) 546-4236.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley is the editor of Atlanta Intown.