AUSTIN (KXAN) — After nearly 30 years with the Austin Police Department, Detective David Fugitt decided to retire.
Fugitt began his career with APD in 1994 as a patrol officer in southwest Austin, before being promoted to detective in the missing persons unit in 1999.
Four years later in 2003, Fugitt transferred to the homicide unit, which is where he has remained for the last 19 years.
According to a colleague, Fugitt is known as “the godfather of the homicide unit.” He was the most senior detective at APD.
Fugitt was the lead investigator in 68 homicide cases — solving all but four of them. He assisted with the investigations into over 700 homicides, which included several notable cases such as the capital murder of Senior Austin Police Officer Jaime Padron in 2012, the case of suspected serial killer Mark Alan Norwood, as well as the Austin serial bomber case in 2018.
According to the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report, an average of 61% of homicide cases nationwide are solved.
Fugitt retired with a solved rate of 94% for the cases where he was the lead investigator.
Despite Fugitt’s success, he said the four unsolved cases continue to haunt him.
“Those are the ones I think about all the time. Probably the toughest part of my retirement was stepping away and not being able to bring the families and victims the justice they deserve,” Fugitt said.
Fugitt told KXAN he remains in contact with the families from these four cases and will never stop trying to bring them justice.
During Fugitt’s tenure with APD, he taught classes at various schools including the Austin Police Academy, and saw the field of homicide investigations change from a more “hands-on approach to a more digital age,” an APD spokesperson wrote.
“His experience is unparalleled in Austin,” APD added.
Fugitt’s last day with APD was Oct. 31.
“I’ve been extremely fortunate — the detectives I’ve worked with are what I believe to be the best of the best. I will miss the camaraderie I had with the team,” Fugitt said.
Although retired, Fugitt says he’s not done doing what he loves the most and has every intent to apply the knowledge, experience and relationships he has gained towards the field of criminal investigations.
What that will be has yet to be determined.