MEBANE, N.C. (WNCN) – Robert Adam Whitt and his mother were both killed in 1998 but just like investigators searching for their killer – their family never gave up hope that they would be found.
Growing up in the shadow of Cincinnati, Samantha Mosteller said she had a typical childhood with her cousin and his mother Myoung Wha Cho.
“We did everything together,” said Samantha Mosteller.
That all changed when her uncle got transferred to North Carolina for a job.
“He found someone else in North Carolina,” said Mosteller.
June 29, 1998, Mosteller’s family was told Whitt’s father put him on a plane to South Korea to see his mother.
“We now know that’s not the case,” said Mosteller. “That’s the morning he killed Bob.”
For years, the family lived under the assumption that Whitt was in South Korea and tried everything to track him down.
“We had two separate law firms looking for them,” said Mosteller. “We had a private investigator looking for them. Back in the 90s you couldn’t find someone in Korea.”
A 23 and Me DNA test kit linked the boy, whose body was found under an Orange County billboard, to the rest of his family.
Whitt’s family pushed his father for answers from his jail cell but he continued to deny any involvement.
“It wasn’t until Myoung Hwa’s fingerprints came in from the Korean consulate that he was finally able to go ahead and confess,” said Mosteller.
“What do you think should happen from here with your uncle?” asked CBS17’s Holden Kurwicki.
“If the death penalty were a possibility, I would definitely approve of that,” said Mosteller. “He took Bobby and Myoung from us all of that time, and he’s known all of this time, and he’s never said anything.”
Mosteller says she will never be able to forgive her uncle for what he did.
“He dumped them on the side of the road like they were trash,” said Mosteller.
Now Whitt’s family finds peace in the man they now view as Whitt’s father figure, retired Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy Maj. Tim Horne.
“Bobby was his son for the last 20 years,” said Mosteller. “He never forgot about him.”
Horne has planned to personally deliver the remains of Whitt to the family in Ohio so he can be properly buried.
You can support his travel by clicking here.