“Part of my asking that this be reopened was in light of where we are with DNA testing some 40 years later. What, if anything, more could we take a look at to make sure that we have examined everything possible to make sure that the person or people responsible are being held accountable,” Bottoms said in her announcement of the DNA findings.
Fiber evidence was re-analyzed in all 30 of the cases, and investigators also extended the timeline from 1970 to 1985 to ensure any additional children or victims are not overlooked, the mayor said.
At least two dozen of the 30 cases were children between the ages of 7 and 17, most of whom were Black victims.
Investigators methodically reviewed an estimated 40% of the collected evidence to determine which items can be sent to a private lab for further processing. Officials moved forward with that process on June 21, Bottoms said.
The private lab has extensive experience in analyzing deteriorated DNA, she said.
“So, we certainly hope to have that information back over the next few months,” Bottoms said. “And it’s truly my hope that with the analysis of this additional DNA, that we can have some additional answers.”
In 1982, Wayne Williams was convicted of murder after being implicated as the prime suspect in the killings.
He was found guilty of both killings and sentenced to life in prison.