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Reporter finds crime-scene knife missed by deputies

Police spokeswoman said during the investigation that detectives had found what they believed was the primary weapon

By Greg Bluestein and Jeff Martin
Associated Press

ATLANTA — A newspaper reporter in Atlanta discovered a bloody knife Monday at a home where three people were stabbed to death, prompting police to investigate whether detectives missed a key piece of evidence.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Rhonda Cook said she found the knife_ with bright red blood on its blade _ under a chair on the front porch, hours after police completed their investigation and removed crime scene tape from the home. She had gone to the neighborhood to interview people about the crime.

"There was glass all around the porch, and the knife was laying in the middle of the glass," Cook said.

Cook, who has been a reporter since 1978, didn't touch the knife. She called her editor and stayed on the phone with him while she knocked on the door, but no one answered, Cook said.

Dekalb County police spokeswoman Mekka Parish said during the initial investigation Sunday detectives found what they believed to be the primary weapon.

"There's no question that additional evidence should have been collected and we will look into the oversight and take whatever disciplinary actions are deemed appropriate," Parish said.

Eugene Quatron McCoy, 21, was charged Monday with three counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault in the killings of a woman, her son and her daughter. He was arrested as he was walked away from the home, about 20 miles southeast of Atlanta.

A woman who escaped the attack by running through the woods to another house called police. The victims' names have not been released, Parish said.

It wasn't immediately clear whether McCoy has an attorney. A sheriff's spokesman didn't immediately return a phone call about whether he had a lawyer and no attorney was listed for him on the jail's website.

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