Forces across nation strive to solve ’72 beating death of boy
Washington Examiner - Washington,DC,USA
Written by: Scott McCabe, Examiner Staff Writer
January 26, 2009
On June 13, 1972, a 14-year-old boy was pushing his bicycle to a nearby gas station on a country road to put air in his tire when he came across the body of a savagely beaten boy in a creek.
Nearly 40 years later, police have yet to identify the dead child or find his killer. But their search continues.
“There is always hope,” Fairfax County police Officer Shelley Broderick said.
Police have taken DNA samples and placed them in the FBI’s National Missing Person DNA Database, and recently produced a lifelike photo of the boy in the hopes that someone will recognize his face and come forward with information that could help solve this case.
The child was found in Massey Creek on Old Colchester Road just off of Interstate 95 and not far from Fort Belvoir.
Police believe the boy was between 3 and 6 years old. He was about 4 feet tall and 50 pounds.
He had suffered blunt force trauma injuries to the head and abrasions, and was stripped naked, but police found no evidence that he was sexually abused. They did, however, find scars from past physical abuse.
The autopsy found that the boy had a full stomach, indicating that he probably ate breakfast that morning, perhaps at one of the nearby restaurants along I-95, police said.
At the time of his death, police checked teletypes for missing children up and down the East Coast, but none matched the description of the boy found in Massey Creek.
About 10 years ago, the Alexandria-based National Center for Missing & Exploited Children created a computer-assisted facial reconstruction of the child, one of the first attempts by the organization to use the new technology.
A forensic artist used pictures taken by police, and knowing the changes that occur immediately after death — the facial muscles relax, the face flattens out and the eyes go blank — tried to restore him with “that spark of life,” said Jerry Nance, supervisor of the forensic services unit at NCMEC.
“Unfortunately, this is a very old case, one of our oldest, but there’s the off chance that a grandmother may remember the face or someone sees his picture and says, ‘That’s my cousin,’ ” Nance said. “We still keep looking.”