Decades after the unidentified bodies of a woman and a 10-year-old boy were found over 200 miles apart, investigators have identified them as a mother and son who were killed by the boy’s father. The case was cracked thanks to an online DNA database and work from the same consultant who cracked the Golden State Killer investigation in California, police said. In 1998, an unidentified woman’s nude body was found in the South Carolina woods; her hands had been bound, and she had been suffocated. That same year, an unidentified 10-year-old boy was found dumped under a billboard in North Carolina. No one had been able to identify the boy until now, after DNA testing across an online database confirmed that the two were mother and son.
The child’s DNA was compared to DNA from a close relative who had submitted the information to the database. After contacting the relative, investigators learned the boy’s name was Robert “Bobby” Adam Whitt, and that there was strong evidence his mother was also dead. After being questioned multiple times, the woman’s former husband and the boy’s father—who was in jail on separate charges—confessed to the murders.