Harrowing murder of a boy found on the street in California in 1978 when he was finally identified – but the killer is still at large

A DECADES-long mystery has been solved after a body discovered on a Carolina street in 1978 was identified by DNA technology.

Investigators say Kenneth Nevada Williams’ story is “far from over” as police continue to hunt his killer.

Kenneth Nevada Williams has been identified after a decade-long mystery

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Kenneth Nevada Williams has been identified after a decade-long mysteryPhoto credit: The Mega Agency
The teenager was identified after more than 40 years thanks to advances in DNA technology

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The teenager was identified after more than 40 years thanks to advances in DNA technologyPhoto credit: The Mega Agency

Williams’ body was discovered on a sidewalk in a residential area in Long Beach, California, more than 44 years ago.

Tragically, the 15-year-old succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

But when investigators couldn’t identify his body, it was dubbed “John Doe 1978” because the case of his death remained cold for over four decades.

Thanks to advances in DNA technology, authorities have now been able to identify Williams, who fled his Los Angeles home in 1978.

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His disappearance was never reported, but detectives were able to track down William’s family members and confirm his identity.

His devastated sister, Roxanne Jones, revealed earlier this week that the family had assumed the runaway teenager had started a new life without them.

She told ABC7: “He wanted to live in the city and go to clubs and have fun … he wasn’t into drugs or anything, but you know, bright lights, big city.

“As soon [the police] said there was a family DNA match, I knew who it was, who it had to be.

Although no cause of death was given, he may have been linked to convicted serial killer Randy Kraft in the decades that followed.

After an investigation, circumstantial evidence linking William’s death to Kraft was dismissed and he was eventually ruled out as a suspect.

Donald Alway, the executive assistant director at the FBI’s Los Angeles field office, spoke this week about the latest development.

He said: “A teenager murdered in the 1970s was known only as ‘John Doe’ for decades until the latest technology and dogged investigators led to his true identity.

“Justice delayed in this case need not be justice denied.

“Kenneth Nevada Williams is now a known victim and identifying his killer is the next step in solving this case.”

In a statement, the Long Beach Police Department said: “Without the help of investigative genealogy, Kenneth Williams may never have been identified, but his story is far from over.

“The person(s) responsible for his murder remain outstanding and must be identified in order to be held accountable for their crimes so that Kenneth Williams and his family receive the justice they have long deserved.”

Anyone with information regarding the 1978 murder or Williams’ whereabouts from October 27, 1977 to June 3, 1978 is asked to contact the LBPD Homicide Division, Missing Persons Division at (562) 570-7246 turn.

https://www.the-sun.com/news/6937196/murder-boy-california-street-finally-identified-killer/ Harrowing murder of a boy found on the street in California in 1978 when he was finally identified – but the killer is still at large

DevanCole

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