Box of childrens’ bones sitting in Gwinnett evidence room for 25 years could soon be identified

·2 min read

A box of skeletal remains has been sitting in a Gwinnett County evidence room for 25 years and, for the first time, investigators are closer than ever to identifying the remains.

In February 1998, Gwinnett County police found the remains belonging to two children along Buford Highway in Norcross. Along with the bones were pieces from an early 20th century casket.

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A message was written on the box that read, “Attention police, my bones were legally exhumed from South Georgia, please return them to their proper repose.”

“It’s just strange circumstances,” said Christina Pursley, a forensic technician with the Gwinnett County Medical Examiner’s Office, “because how does the box end up there?”

The remains likely belong to an infant and a child under 15 years old.

Pursley says investigators haven’t had a lot of answers over the years, but they don’t suspect foul play was involved. They were scattered near a storm drain, and the theory is that they ended up there by accident, possibly by falling out of a car.

“It doesn’t look like anybody just purposely put them there,” she said.


Forensic DNA company Othram got involved last April and has been using genetic genealogy to try and identify the remains. Recently, Pursley says there was a breakthrough.

“They were able to build a family tree and narrow down to a closer relative of the remains,” she said.

The relative has been cooperative and is eager to help identify the children, according to Pursley.

This type of DNA testing has helped with another cold case in Gwinnett County, and the hope is that this one will be able to be closed soon.

“The ultimate goal is just to find their name and to find their family and hopefully give somebody closure,” said Pursley.

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