According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced that DNA from the Atlanta Child Murders is being reviewed by a private lab. Bottoms announced the plan on July 16.
No one was ever charged for the murders, which occurred between 1979 and 1981. Local cameraman Wayne Williams was convicted of murdering two adults around the same time. The police have always believed that Williams was responsible for the Atlanta Child Murders, which he has always denied. Bottoms said that approximately 40 percent of the collected evidence investigators reviewed was sent to the private lab for processing on June 21. The mayor and the police reopened the case in 2019.
“Part of my asking that this be reopened was in light of where we are with DNA testing some 40 years later,” she said. “What, if anything, more could we take a look at to make sure that we have examined everything possible to make sure that the person or people responsible are being held accountable.”
The lab will review fiber evidence and deteriorated DNA from all 30 cases. Bottoms said that investigators would study a timeline between 1970 to 1985 to make sure other victims were not overlooked.
#AtlantaChildMurders investigation update from @KeishaBottoms: evidence has been sent for DNA testing (should have results later this year), investigators broadening time they’re looking at to 1970-1985 to make sure no other victims are overlooked. https://t.co/9Glvg5hqaf
— Joe Henke (@JoeHenke) July 16, 2021
Here’s the latest about the reopened investigation into this decades-old tragedy. https://t.co/YeWycc1lle
— Wilborn P. Nobles III (@WilNobles) July 16, 2021
Bottoms hopes that the processing is finished before her term ends, but if it is not, she said that the new mayor should make the case a priority.
“We certainly hope to have that information back over the next few months,” Bottoms said. “Hopefully, before I leave office I hope that we’re able to get it back, but if not, I trust that whomever the next mayor will keep this as a priority. And it’s truly my hope that with the analysis of this additional DNA that we can have some additional answers.”