ATLANTA - Levi Frady would be 31 years old this year had he lived. But the 11-year-old Forsyth County boy's life was cut short nearly 20 years ago by a still-unknown killer.
It was Frady's death that led to the Levi's Call for missing children - Georgia's version of the national Amber Alert.
On October 22, 1997, he left home on his bicycle to play with friends. He never made it back.
Hunters found his body the next day some 25 miles away in Dawson County, about 100 yards off a small access road in the Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area. Authorities say he had been shot with a handgun. Investigators say there was no molestation and no robbery and no apparent motive.
Retired Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent Jim Hallman, who headed the GBI Regional Office at the time, which was then located in Gainesville, said in an AccessWDUN interview 10 years ago he had a theory, "for what it's worth," about a motive. Hallman, whose office assisted local authorities in the investigation, said he believes Frady's kidnapper intended to molest the boy but, for whatever reason, killed him before any assault occurred.
Hallman, at the time of the interview was an assistant prosecuting attorney in Bighorn County, Wyoming, and said he had always believed the case was "a solvable one," recalling that one murder he investigated during his law enforcement career, which also involved the death of a child, a Habersham County girl, took 20 years to solve.
Asked what it will take to solve Frady's murder, he replied "a confession or a link between some of the evidence in the case with another crime." Hallman said a strong suspect, a convicted sex offender, was developed at one point but was never charged.
On Tuesday, a spokesman for the GBI said the agency has "continually" worked on the case through the years.
"This case is very important to the GBI and the community," said Bahan Rich, Deputy Director, Office of Public Affairs. "We receive and develop information regularly and continue to follow any leads." Rich added that anyone with any information can contact the GBI via the GBI Tips Online (Tips@gbi.state.ga.us) or the regional office, now located in Cleveland, at 706-348-4866.
Asked about any leads or suspects that have been developed over the past 10 years, Rich said he couldn't comment.
"Since it is still an open case, we are not at liberty to discuss any details or the status of any possible suspects."
The GBI maintains a web page devoted to the case, and there are other sites devoted to the unsolved murder.
(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)