Baltimore County closed out 2012 with a reduction in the number of homicides compared to the previous year.
The county's 23 homicide cases was seven less than in 2011 and represents a more than 20 percent decrease when compared to the five-year average of homicides in the county.
In a majority of cases last year, the victim knew the person accused in his or her death. Twelve victims were killed in domestic-related incidents, three were killed by acquaintances, and three were killed in non-random, drug-related incidents, according to a statement issued by the Baltimore County Police Department.
In two cases, there was no apparent relationship between the suspect and the victim.
Three other cases remain open. Police do not know if there is any relationship between victim and suspect in those cases.
County police continue to record a clearance rate on homicides that is higher than the national average.
In 2012, homicide detectives cleared nearly 86.9 percent of the cases—just slightly lower than its five year average of 89.8 percent, according to police statistics.
The clearance rate for homicides nationwide in 2011 was 64.8 percent, according to statistics compiled by the FBI.