Five-month anniversary of New Year's Day murders approaches; No arrests yet

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Elder James Johnson recalls learning the news that two mothers had been murdered on the first day of the New Year.

"It was a tragedy and nothing like this has ever happened in Charleston before."

Forty-nine-year-old Debra Martin and 52-year-old Janet Royal were both killed in the early hours, their children at home when it happened. Both shootings happened in a three-mile radius, one on Ventura Drive and the other on Niagara Street. Investigators say the women were not the intended targets.

Johnson has kept in touch with the families of both victims. He says they are struggling to move forward, especially since no arrests have been made. Johnson says this case has resonated with the tight knit communities Martin and Royal were a part of.

"It's still devastating to a lot of people here, and they just want closure. People, today, don't open their doors one, two-o'clock in the morning."

He says his fear is the investigation will lose momentum as more time passes.

"This case is very dear to my heart, and we just can't let this case die down. With all my power, I will see that it stays out there."

If you have any information, call CRIME STOPPERS at 843-554-1111.