In a tweet last week, the mayor said investigators are going to Salt Lake City to provide “old DNA evidence” to a private lab, hoping to solve the case of 29 Black children and young adults who were killed between 1979–1981.
@Atlanta_Police Investigators are traveling to Salt Lake City to provide a private lab, that works with old DNA evidence, evidence from the Missing and Murdered children cases. It is my sincere hope that there will be concrete answers for the families.— Keisha Lance Bottoms (@KeishaBottoms) October 18, 2021
The key suspect in the case has been identified as Wayne Williams, ABC News reports. Williams, who has never been charged in connection with the case, was sentenced to two life prison sentences in 1982 for killing two adults.
Bottoms reopened the Atlanta child murders case two years ago, saying the evidence would be reviewed to see if it could be tested further. The mayor announced that new information could be found through technological advancements and newly available genetic databases.
In July, Bottoms said investigators have extracted DNA evidence, 11Alive reports. Investigators also extended the possible timeline of the murders from 1970 to 1985, looking to find any victims that may have been overlooked.
Bottoms grew up in the area where the murders were committed. She hopes to see the next mayor continue the investigation if the case isn't solve during her term.
"I trust that whomever the next mayor is will keep this as a priority," she said. "And it's truly my hope that, with the analysis of this additional DNA, that we can have some additional answers."
Anthony Bernard Carter is one of the victims who was stabbed to death in July 1980 as a 9-year-old, according to CNN.
"He never had a chance," said Hazel Jenkins, Carter's 85-year-old aunt. "He was a sweet child."
Nicholas Burnston, Carter's younger cousin, remembers the good times.
"Anthony was a smiling, muscular young man that was very smart who had just moved onto the fifth grade," Burnston told CNN. "He was a smart kid. He was fast. He had speed that no one could match, no one. He always smiled."
LaTunya Bright also remembers her cousin vividly.
"Anthony was a very nice, intelligent little boy. He was a little shorter than everybody, he was stocky. He was real fast when it came to sports," Bright said.