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NC MEBANE JOHN DOE: W/HM, 8-11, found in Mebane, NC - Sept 1998 - $50 in his pocket *Bobby Whitt*

Discussion in 'Identified!' started by Kimster, Jul 18, 2015.

  1. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG](more images at links)

    • Date of Discovery: September 25, 1998
    • Location of Discovery: Mebane, Orange County, North Carolina
    • Estimated Date of Death: Several months prior - as early as April 1998
    • State of Remains: Not recognizable - Near complete or complete skeleton
    • Cause of Death: Unknown

    Physical Description
    ** Listed information is approximate

    • Estimated Age: 10-12 years old
    • Race: White, possibly Hispanic
    • Gender: Male
    • Height: 4'7" to 4'11"
    • Weight: 50-80 lbs.
    • Hair Color: Dark brown, straight, fine and 3 to 4" in length
    • Eye Color: Unknown

    • Distinguishing Marks/Features: Unknown

    • Dentals: Available. He had no dental fillings but teeth 3, 4, 13, 14, 19, 29, 30 had preventative sealants on the surfaces to help prevent cavities and decay: no cavities; teeth 4, 13, 20 decidious. He had a slight overbite and his upper canine teeth were high erupting canines, which are commonly referred to as "fang teeth." These teeth may have been noticeable to others when he smiled or spoke.
    • Fingerprints: Not available.
    • DNA: Available in CODIS.
    Clothing & Personal Items
    • Clothing: Khaki Fox Polo Club shorts (size 13 with a 27" waist), white tube socks, white brief underwear, and black and white 2XS Sports athletic shoes (size 3) with very little wear. No shirt was found.

    • Jewelry: Unknown

    • Additional Personal Items: Cash of $50 inside short's pockets (two $20s and one $10).

    The child's body was found near a billboard sign along Industrial Drive which is a service road adjacent to Interstate 85 and Interstate 40, although not immediately or easily accessible from the interstate.
    There were no signs of foul play, no trauma to the body, and no blood on the clothing.

    He may have been part of a migrant worker group that populates the area every harvest.


    Last edited: May 12, 2017
    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed likes this.
  2. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    Is it just me or do these artists' recons look totally different from each other? :waitasec: I'm not sure which one to put on the marquee!
    KareBear likes this.
  3. WindStorm

    WindStorm Bronze Member

    Gah! You're right. None of them look the same. And what's with the second set of photos down???

    Note: if this boy met with foul play, I would think they would have checked his pickets and taken the $50.00 cash.

    Note II: woukd a migrant farm worker child have had the resources to have $50.00 cash in their pocket?
    KareBear and Kimster like this.
  4. WindStorm

    WindStorm Bronze Member

    P.S. 1988 was almost 30 years ago. $50.00 was a lot of money!
    Kimster likes this.
  5. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    John doe was identified as a Caucasian or Hispanic between 9 and 12 years old. He stood approximately 4 feet 11 inches tall and had straight brown hair.

    He had no dental fillings, but some teeth had preventative sealant placed on them to help prevent cavities and decay. He had a slight overbite and his upper canine teeth were high erupting canines, commonly referred to as "fang teeth."

    Chemical isotope and pollen testing revealed that John was likely not from North Carolina, but from the Southeast United States, with the highest potential from Alabama or Georgia.


    There is a new recon of Mebane John Doe at the above link.
    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed likes this.
  6. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    By the time a landscaping crew discovered the little boy’s body beneath a billboard along Interstate 85 in the small town of Mebane, North Carolina, he was nothing more than a skull and bones and the clothing he wore when his remains were left behind.

    Twenty years later, authorities still don’t know who the dead boy is — no name, no known family and no suspects in his apparent strangulation. He is still listed as “John Doe” on the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

    But investigators aren’t giving up and, according to one longtime official, they may be as close as ever to the truth. <snip>


    Investigators were able to use the clothing the boy was found in and the sneakers he was wearing to garner some promising information, such as that his shoes were purchased from a Walmart sometime around or after February 1998.

    Law enforcement tried to narrow down the part of the country where the shoes were sold, however, but came up empty.

    Investigators also worked with the Secret Service: $50 was found rolled up in the boy’s pocket — but the serial numbers on the bills led nowhere and fingerprints were not found on the money.

    Within a few months, the case had gone cold.<snip>

    After years of frustrating dead ends, a pollen test from the original scene recently helped give Horne one additional clue that he’s hoping could crack the case. Each geographic region has a different pollen count and tests showed tress consistent with Northern Georgia and Northern Alabama, meaning the boy spent a significant amount of time in one of those places.

    New genetic testing has also confirmed that the boy is of European and East Asian descent, disputing the long-held belief that he was Hispanic.

    Horne tells PEOPLE he was stupefied when he heard the results: “After 20 years we just now get this and the experts we’ve worked with all along have been wrong?”

    With a new sketch and age progression photo of young John Doe, Horne thinks that, at last, they may find the answers they’ve been searching for.

    “It was much more frustrating early on,” Horne says. “Once you got in mindset that this is not a sprint, that it’s a marathon, it became much easier to deal with.”

    Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Maj. Horne at the Orange County Sheriff’s Office at 919-245-2920.

  7. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Very interesting.

    This little guy has had a TON of facial reconstructions and drawings done for him. May this be the one to identify him.

  8. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    Decades after the unidentified bodies of a woman and a 10-year-old boy were found in separate states beside a Southern interstate highway, investigators now say they were a mother and son and the boy's father has confessed to killing them.

    The case was cracked thanks to an online DNA database, help from international police and a consultant whose work led to an arrest in the Golden State Killerinvestigation, authorities in North Carolina and South Carolina said Tuesday.

    But investigators in both states said they had never stopped trying to solve the 1998 cases that they never knew were related, separated by 215 miles along Interstate 85.

    "I always kept the case file box under my desk, where it was purposefully in my way. Every time I turned, I hit it with my leg. I did this so the little boy couldn't be forgotten," said Orange County, North Carolina, Sheriff's Maj. Tim Horne, who worked the case from the beginning.

    North Carolina authorities even enlisted experts to create a sketch and a bust reconstructing the appearance of the child. But despite wide-spread dissemination, no one was able to identify him.

    Investigators had no idea the cases were linked until December 2018, when consultant Dr. Barbara Rae-Venter reviewed the latest DNA tests on the boy's body, Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood said in a statement. Rae-Venter's work with online DNA databases had earlier helped lead to an arrest of a man in California charged with 26 counts of murder and kidnapping in California in the 1970s and 1980s.

    The boy's remains were found in September 1998 by workers mowing grass on a frontage road near I-85 in Durham, North Carolina, Blackwood said. DNA testing showed he had Asian and Caucasian parents.

    Rae-Venter matched the child's DNA to DNA from a close relative who had submitted the information to an online database. After contacting the relative, investigators learned the boy was Robert "Bobby" Adam Whitt, who was born in Michigan and raised in Ohio, Blackwood said. He also said they were given strong evidence his mother — who had disappeared the same year as her son — was also dead.

    Meanwhile, deputies in South Carolina had found an unidentified woman whose nude body was dumped in the woods beside I-85 in May 1998, Spartanburg County Sheriff's Lt. Kevin Bobo said. Her hands had been bound and she had been suffocated.

    After DNA testing confirmed the victims were mother and son, investigators in the U.S. enlisted the help of Korean authorities and international police to identify the woman as Myoung Hwa Cho.

    Cho's husband, the boy's father, is serving time in federal prison on unrelated charges. After being questioned several times he confessed to killing his wife and son, Bobo said.

    Authorities aren't releasing his name because he hasn't been charged in the killings yet. Charges may not be filed until investigators figure out exactly where the two victims were killed, Bobo said. Investigators think the woman and her son were killed somewhere else and dumped beside the interstate.

    Last edited: Feb 6, 2019
  9. Jem

    Jem Member

    He's been identified as 10-year old Robert Adam Whitt of Charlotte, North Carolina.
  10. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    You found him! I had him with the wrong year and couldn't find him. I moved my post from the news area to this one. Thank you, @Jem!
  11. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    I wonder if his mom gave him the money and was hoping he could get away? So sad! :(

  12. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    I couldn't find him either. Thanks @Jem !

    Those early reconstructions don't look much like Bobby. The most recent one does. Glad our technology is coming along.
    Kimster and Whatsnext like this.
  13. The Coffeenator

    The Coffeenator Fluent in crapanese

    That could be because he was believed to be Hispanic first, until genetic testing revealed him to be of East-Asian heritage only, like, half a year ago or so.
  14. Mel70

    Mel70 Bronze Member

    Husband and Father Killed His Wife and His own Son. Saying Wife moved back to "Native Korea". It was stated "Bobby adored his Father". EVIL BAST#@/$!!!:mad:
  15. Jem

    Jem Member

    Watch the language.
  16. Mel70

    Mel70 Bronze Member

    I didn't swear. I used the symbols.
  17. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    ORANGE COUNTY, N.C. — For two decades, investigators, family and others touched by the case have waited for any information about who killed the "billboard boy" found along I-40 in Alamance County back in 1998.

    John Russell Whitt was indicted on First-Degree Murder and Concealment of Death charges by an Orange County grand jury on Monday in connection with the cold case.

    The indictment comes decades after the bodies of a woman and a 10-year-old boy were found in separate states beside a southern interstate highway.

    According to Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall, investigators believe Whitt killed the boy and his mother in Concord, North Carolina.

    He was only indicted in Orange County for the murder of the 10-year-old because that's where the body was buried, Woodall shared.

    As of right now, John Whitt's is set to be in prison in Kentucky until 2037 for armed bank robbery charges.

    The district attorney says Whitt will be brought to North Carolina within the next week or so, where he'll be served with the indictments, go before a judge and have a lawyer appointed.

    If he's convicted of murder in this case, he would likely spend many more years behind bars.

  18. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    Now we know why this precious boy was never reported missing!
    ima.grandma and Whatsnext like this.
  19. KareBear

    KareBear Well-Known Member

    Definitely, the last composite did him the most justice in likeness..
    Poor falla.. R.I.P. :(
    Kimster likes this.
  20. ima.grandma

    ima.grandma Believer of Miracles

    A mystery is solved as the remains of a child found under a billboard in North Carolina have been identified two decades later.
    On September 25, 1998, a lawn maintenance crew was mowing under a billboard on Industrial Drive near I-85 when the tractor operator noticed a skull at the edge of the wood line and called 911.

    The Orange County Sheriff’s Office responded and discovered decomposed human remains, later determined to be that of a young child. No matches were found in computer databases of children reported missing throughout the country, which hampered the investigation. Media attention, reconstructions and work by forensic experts generated few leads over the next 20 years.

    As technology advanced, however, the remains were reanalyzed, yielding new information, possible leads -- and finally, an answer.

    Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood told news outlets Tuesday that the child was 10-year-old Robert "Bobby" Adam Whitt, who was born in Michigan on January 7, 1988 and raised in Ohio.

    “I always kept the case file box under my desk, where it was purposefully in my way," said Major Tim Horne, who worked the case from the day the remains were found. "Every time I turned, I hit it with my leg. I did this so the little boy couldn't be forgotten.”

    Last year, the consultant who helped solve the Golden State Killer case, Barbara Rae-Venter, used DNA to determine the child was half-Asian and half-white. Online DNA ancestry services identified a possible relative.

    That relative disclosed Bobby's name, saying family assumed his mother took him to South Korea. Based on that information, police determined an unidentified woman found dead in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, around the same time was Bobby's mother.

    "This case is an example of dogged determination of investigators who refused to give up," Blackwood said, in a news release. “...With technology what it is today, crimes that have gone unsolved before are now ripe for resolution.”

    As for how Whitt died, authorities have identified a suspect who is already behind bars in serving a lengthy sentence in a separate case.
    Whatsnext and KareBear like this.

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