DNA evidence from decades-old unsolved child murders heading to private lab

Written by on October 19, 2021

iStock/MattGush

(ATLANTA) — Police are taking DNA evidence from decades-old unsolved child murder cases to a private lab in Utah in the hopes of finding “concrete answers for the families,” Atlanta’s mayor said.

From 1979 to 1981, at least 29 Black people, mostly kids and adolescents, were killed in the Atlanta area, according to the mayor’s office. The first two victims were a 14-year-old boy and a 13-year-old boy who vanished within days of each other, the mayor’s office said.

The slayings became known as the “Atlanta Child Murders.”

Wayne Williams was long been considered the suspect but was never convicted in the cases, ABC Atlanta affiliate WSB-TV reported. In 1982, Williams was convicted of killing two adults and he’s currently incarcerated, according to WSB-TV.

This week, investigators are taking the evidence to a private lab in Salt Lake City “that specializes in analyzing deteriorated DNA,” Atlanta police said.

“Considering the emergence of new science and technology related to DNA testing, the Atlanta Police Department realized an opportunity to re-evaluate evidence from the Atlanta Child Murders case,” police said in a statement Tuesday. “As with all murder cases, our investigators dedicate countless hours of time and energy to successfully solve cases and bring some sense of closure to victims’ relatives.”

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms tweeted, “It is my sincere hope that there will be concrete answers for the families.”

 

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