Task force meets to come up with Memorial for Atlanta's Missing & Murdered Children

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For many, the Atlanta child murders were the darkest days in Atlanta's history. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms wants to make sure the children and their families are never forgotten. She appointed a task force to find a way to honor their lives.  

Wednesday night, that task force met for the first time. Many had a close personal connection to the murders. Some are parents of those who were killed. Others helped search for the missing. All remember that time as if it were yesterday. 

"My dream finally come true, I'm really happy about this memorial," said Catherine Leach. 

Ms. Leach has waited 40 years to see a memorial for her son, Curtis Walker, and all the other children snatched from Atlanta streets and murdered. 

Leach is part of the task force that will determine the best way to honor and remember Atlanta's missing and murdered children. 

"I want it where all the peoples are going, a lot of traffic and all the people could see what happened to our children," said Leach.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms appointed the group to find a way to honor and remember the children.  

"Each of these children and their spirit remains with us and continues to stir something in all of us," said the Mayor.

There were 28 people, mostly children, found dead or declared missing in Atlanta between 1979 and 1981. Wayne Williams was convicted of the murders of two adults and was linked to the other murders in court.  But he was never indicted for the deaths of any of the children. 

Atlanta Radio Host Frank Ski is heading up the task force to find a lasting and appropriate tribute to the children. 

"You want someone to understand the loss by understanding the innocence of the children that were taken," said Ski.

For Sheila Baltazar, whose stepson, Patrick Baltazar, was murdered, she envisions something that will help others understand the pain and fear so many families suffered. 

"I want something like maybe at Centennial Park where people come in from all over the world and say 'Oh yeah, I remember those parents of Atlanta's missing and murdered children, I remember when it happened,'" said Baltazar. 

The group looked at various memorials, talked about selecting an artist and discussed location options.  They have six months to come up with a final plan. 

The city has set aside some money to fund the task force and artist selection, the money for the memorial will come from private sources.