CHARLOTTE (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — A 6-year-old boy who was found dead and went unidentified for over 20 years has been identified and his mother has been charged with his death, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children announced Wednesday.
Teresa Black, 45, faces multiple charges including felony murder and concealing a death.
“This case is a perfect example of why we never give up hope,” said Angeline Hartmann, Director of Communications at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
Officials said Wednesday that after 23 years a tip came in from an acquaintance of Black’s when Black lived in Charlotte. The woman, who goes only by the name Ava in an effort to remain anonymous, stated she frequently took care of 6-year-old William Hamilton, who was Black’s son when they lived in Charlotte.
Investigators said Black left Charlotte with her son but returned alone back in 1998. His body was discovered in 1999 in Dekalb, Georgia, but went unidentified for over two decades, the Dekalb County District Attorney’s Office said Wednesday. Black gave conflicting stories to investigators, documents showed.
“For more than two decades, a woman in Charlotte followed her gut feeling that something wasn’t right. She made phone calls, scoured the internet, and talked to anybody who would listen. We’re grateful she never stopped until she found that rendering of William online and gave investigators the missing piece to help solve this 23-year-old mystery.”
Officials said new DNA technology helped identify the body. Black was located in Phoenix, Arizona, and arrested. She will be extradited to Georgia, where Hamilton’s body was found.
“A huge thank you to the Dekalb County District Attorney’s Office, the Dekalb County Medical Examiner’s Office, and Dekalb County Police for their hard work that brought us here today,” Hartmann said.