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Stockton Murder Rate Up Nearly 50 Percent

STOCKTON (CBS13) --  The murder rate in Stockton is up nearly 50 percent from last year.  There are now fewer cops and a soaring murder rate that is surrounding the city.

The latest victim was a 58-year-old man who was allegedly shot in the head by his girlfriend, which brings the death toll to 48 for 2010. That number is up nearly 50 percent from all of last year.

Mozelle Hill is still haunted by her daughter Tomisha's death.  The neighbors found the 22-year-old lifeless in a Stockton apartment. The young mother left behind two small children and plenty of unanswered questions.

"I don't get through the days, I try to keep a smile on my face but it's hard, I got the babies to smile but it's hard," says Hill.

Over the last year and a half, the city blamed budget cuts for laying off more than 100 sworn officers.

With only a month left in the year, neighbors fear the city will nearly double last year's murder rate of 33.  And, homicide victims are knee deep in cases they're constantly trying to crack.

"They are taxed and it does start to put stress on resources that are available because regardless of how many homicides come in, you have the same number of detectives to handle them," says Officer Pete Smith of the Stockton Police Department.

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