/  10.19.2021


A laboratory in Utah will examine old DNA evidence that will hopefully provide some insight into the Atlanta Child Murders, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said. On Monday (Oct. 18), Bottoms announced on Twitter that investigators with the Atlanta Police Department are traveling to Salt Lake City, Utah to deliver evidence from the string of killings in the city that terrified families in the 70s and 80s.

“[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,” the mayor wrote. “It is my sincere hope that there will be concrete answers for the families.”

Between the years 1979 and 1981, at least 28 Black children and young adults were abducted and killed in Atlanta. The string of killings, called the Atlanta Child Murders in the media, only led to the arrest of one suspect: Wayne Williams.

Police arrested Williams on June 21, 1981. However, he was never charged with killing any children or teens and instead received two life prison sentences in 1982 for the murder of two adults. Williams denied being behind the child killings and has continued to maintain his innocence.

In March of 2019, Mayor Bottoms and then-Police Chief Erika Shields reopened the case in hopes that evidence from the killings could be re-tested more thoroughly with the help of new technology.

In July, Bottoms announced that DNA had been identified and sampled from two cases and would go on to be tested in a private lab, which appears to be the laboratory that investigators are currently visiting in Salt Lake City.

As part of the reopened investigation, beyond testing DNA evidence, detectives were also instructed to find out if there were any other child victims in the city outside of the 1979 to 1981 timeframe.

See Mayor Bottoms’ tweet below.

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