For two decades, investigators in DeKalb County, Georgia, have tried to identify a young child who was found deceased in the woods on Feb. 26, 1999. Using technology that wasn’t around 20 years ago, a forensic artist here at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children created this new facial reconstruction. It’s the most life-like image of the boy to date.
Investigators determined that the little boy was African American, between the ages of 4-8 years old and likely died about 3-6 months before his remains were found. He was between 3 feet 10 inches and 4 feet 2 inches tall and weighed approximately 45-60 pounds. He was found wearing a blue plaid and navy hooded sweatshirt, size XL, red denim jeans, size three, and size 11 Timberland boots. The results of advanced forensic analysis of his bones and teeth suggest that he was likely born and raised in the southeast U.S., most likely Georgia or Florida.
Investigators and the National Center hope the new image will finally bring answers in the case. For Angeline Hartmann, NCMEC’s media director, this case has become very personal. She’s been connected to the mystery since day one.
“I was a reporter in Atlanta and I remember getting a call that homicide investigators were going out to a scene at a small neighborhood cemetery in DeKalb County, Georgia,” recalls Hartmann.
At the crime scene, Hartmann learned that police were dealing with the remains of a small child.