ROSWELL, GA. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - Roswell Police investigators ask the public for new leads to finally solve the murder of an 8-year-old Roswell boy killed 31 years ago.
On Sunday, May 15, 1988, police said Joshua Harmon was beaten, strangled, and buried under a pile of dirt and debris. The killer covered the pile with logs.
"Joshua deserves for the people to know, someone hurt him," said his mother Cherie Harmon, who is now 64 years old and suffers from stage 4 cancer.
"As his mother, I deserve to know who did this and why... Not knowing is what kills you," she said, describing her grief as unbearable decades later.
Joshua's mother said her son, who loved animals and the outdoors, usually played outside in the woods next to their apartment complex.
His family had just moved into the complex off Raintree Drive, formerly known as the Roundtree Apartments, three weeks prior to the boy's death.
His mother tells FOX 5, the boy had been playing outside all day, and police said he stopped by a neighbor's apartment to ask if one of his friends could come and play in the woods. That was the last time anyone reported seeing him alive.
His mother said when Joshua did not come home for dinner, her husband and neighbors tried to find him but were unsuccessful; the family then called 911.
After a nearly two-day search with police, firefighters and volunteers, investigators found Joshua's body in the woods near the apartments.
Officials are hoping to use forensic evidence to identify Joshua's killer, but they are also asking the community to help identify any new witnesses or information that may help.
"In the last 31 years, we believe that the killer may have spoken to someone about this incident and disclosed their involvement," the Roswell Police Department said in a statement.
Cherie Harmon hopes Joshua's many neighborhood friends, who are now in their 40s, can finally come forward if they have any information that can help police.
If you have information, please call Detective Jennifer Bennett at 770-640-4380 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.