GAINESVILLE - The mother of the 16-year-old girl found stabbed to death behind an apartment complex on Dawsonville Highway in Hall County last August spoke to reporters Wednesday afternoon.
Mona Harris, Hannah Truelove's mother, read from a prepared statement and took no questions from the members of the media who gathered at the Hall County Law Enforcement Center on Main Street. It was the first time she had addressed reporters since her daughter's murder.
"I would like to send a message to anyone who might have information on Hannah Truelove's death to please come forward and help me end this nightmare," said Harris tearfully. (See full statement from Mona Harris at the end of this story.)
After reading the statement, Harris left the room, flanked by investigators from the GBI and the Hall County Sheriff's Office.
Hall County Sheriff's Sgt. Stephen Wilbanks took questions from the media, noting that information on the case has slowed dramatically in the last few months.
He stopped short of saying there are suspects in the case, but he did say for the first time since the murder, there are persons of interest in the case.
"There are some people who have not cooperated with the investigation - I can say that," said Wilbanks. "We would very much like to be able to speak to some other people, I can't release any further information."
Earlier in the day, the Hall County Sheriff's Office announced a $1,000 reward in the Truelove case, authorized by Governor Nathan Deal.
Wilbanks said while the reward money may be an incentive for someone to come forward with details on the death, he's hoping that someone will simply do what is right.
"We're trying hard not to make this an issue of money," said Wilbanks. "We want this to be an issue of closing the case and doing the right thing for the right reasons."
The following is the full statement as presented by Mona Harris, the mother of Hannah Truelove:
My name is Mona Harris; I am the mother of Hannah Truelove. Hannah was reported missing on August 23, 2012 and she was found dead on August 24, 2012. Hannah's family and friends have been living a nightmare since Hannah was reported missing and found murdered. Our entire family has suffered and continues to suffer every minute of every day since that fateful evening.
As her mother, Hannah meant and still means the world to me. I spent 16 years watching her grow and develop into a caring and loving young lady. Hannah had such a great sense of humor and a bright future. If you could have known Hannah you would understand how important she was to all of our lives. Every day my memories of Hannah come flooding back, what I wouldn't give to have her here with me again.
I would like to send a message to anyone who may have information about Hannah's death to please come forward and help me end this nightmare. I am haunted by Hannah's death, as any mother can understand. Please help my family by coming forward with your information, even if that information is about your son or daughter. I feel sure you know they can't come to grips with Hannah's death until they are truthful about what happened to Hannah.
We can't go back and save Hannah but we can honor her memory and bring closure to her tragic death. I pray to Almighty God, you are willing to do this for Hannah even though you may not have known her. I know in my heart Hannah would have done the same for you.
Hannah's mother, Mona Harris