Sanford Police seeking public's help in solving six slayings

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SANFORD, Fla. - Rebuilding the community's trust could be the key to solving a string of murders in Sanford, according to its police chief.

The Sanford Police Department is searching for new leads in six unsolved slayings.

Five of the victims were gunned down outside their homes and the sixth was stabbed to death.

The city's new top cop is asking for the community's help to catch their killers.

Police Chief Cecil Smith said the department is struggling to solve the slayings of the six men, mostly in Goldsboro.

"We run into roadblocks when people won't talk to us," Smith said.

The crimes date back to February 2010, when a dad was gunned down while holding his baby.

The most recent was this past April. Keran Stanislaus, a Purple Heart recipient who survived an IED blast in Afghanistan, was killed in his wife's grandmother's driveway.

"Whoever did it, justice needs to be served," said his wife, Jasmine Stanislaus.

The department said that will only happen when the police and the people start working together.

According to police the six victims are Dennis Williams, 37, slain Feb. 13, 2010, while he was taking his 9-month-old baby out of his car; Hamilton Clark, 35, slain Feb. 26, 2011; Jamison Knight, 17, shot while walking home and paralyzed from the chest down before succumbing to complications eight months later; Tyrone Montogmery, 37, stabbed in his home; Keran Stanislaus, 24; and Marcus Killingsworth, 33, who was shot and killed in his driveway.

Police said they are looking for 26-year-old Michael Simmons wanted in connection with a shooting earlier this week.

Smith said rebuilding the community's trust after Trayvon Martin's death may be the key to solving the cases.

Sanford police are moving to make the historic Goldsboro neighborhood more about its cultural roots and less about its criminal reputation.

"We want the people to understand the PD is making changes," Smith said.

Smith said that change started with the end of the Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman chapter, one that pitted the department against the community and created a communication barrier.

"This is part of rebuilding that trust," Smith said.

Smith said anyone with information on the whereabouts of Simmons should call 407-688-5199 or 911.

From the report:

Victim: Dennis Williams 37-year-old black male. Incident occurred on February 13, 2010 at approximately 2 a.m. Mr. Williams was in front of #7 Castle Brewer Ct and while he was taking his baby out of his vehicle, he was approached and shot one time while holding his 9 month old. The child was not injured.

Victim: Hamilton Clark 35 Y/O B/M. Incident occurred on February 26, 2011 at approximately 1:50 AM, he was shot and killed in the area of 5th and Avocado Avenue.

Victim: Jamison Knight 17 Y/O B/M. Incident occurred April 2, 2012 at approximately 2 AM, in the area of 13th PL and Mangoustine Ave. Mr. Knight was walking home, (1490 W. 15th street) when he was approached by a sliver or gray vehicle and the driver shot the victim one time, striking him in the back of his neck. Knight was paralyzed from the chest down and then died approximately 8 months later due to complications.

Victim: Tyrone Montgomery 37 Y/O B/M. Incident occurred June 12, 2012 at approximately 3:11PM was stabbed at his residence of 2622 Marshall Ave. He died at CFRH very shortly thereafter.

Victim: Keran Stanislaus 24 Y/O B/M. Incident occurred April 17, 2013 at approx. 11:09 PM, was shot in killed on the driveway at 118 Placid Woods Ct.

Victim: Marcus Killingsworth 33Y/O B/M. Incident occurred March 27, 2013 at approx. 10:14PM, he was shot and killed on the driveway of 1119 W. 12th Street.

Anyone with information regarding these cases should contact the Sanford Police Department at 407-688-5193.

Wanted for questioning: Michael L. Simmons B/M 26 Y/O 6'6 270lbs.