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A 23-year-old cold case has finally been solved after the body of a 6-year-old boy who was found dead in a cemetery has been identified.

His mother is now accused of killing him.

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The body of William DaShawn Hamilton was found in 1999 in a wooded area in DeKalb County, Georgia, WSBTV reported.

William was wearing a blue and white plaid shirt, red jeans and brown Timberland boots, but his body was so decomposed that it was estimated that he had been left there three to six months before he was found.

A cemetery worker found William in a shallow grave near the burial grounds, AZ Central reported.

“For far too long, this precious little boy had no name and no story,” DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston said, according to WSBTV. “Through the tireless efforts of several individuals and organizations who were determined not to let this boy be forgotten, William has been identified, and justice will be served in his memory.”



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Officials were finally able to identify the remains as William’s and his mother, Teresa Black, who went by the last name of Bailey in 1999, is now facing several charges including felony murder.

Boston said that William was living with his mother in Charlotte, North Carolina, when Black withdrew her son from school in December 1998. The mother and son moved to Atlanta but then she returned to Charlotte in 1999 without her son. The district attorney said that Black told people different stories as to where her son was at the time.

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children received a tip recently from a woman, who asked not to be identified, who said she had cared for William when he lived in Charlotte and that she had been searching for the child since he never returned.

The woman recognized William from an updated artist’s rendering, AZ Central reported.

The new image was created in 2019 and the woman saw it in May 2020, The Associated Press reported.

“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,” Angeline Hartmann told WSBTV.

Black was arrested in Phoenix on June 29 after being indicted the day before, AZ Central reported.

The manner and cause of William’s death were listed as undetermined, the AP reported.