Cold Case: WCSO seeks help solving 2004 cold case homicide involving a newborn

Photo credit: Darrell Everidge

Each month as part of The Tribune’s public records section the newspaper will be working with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office to report on unsolved cases. This is shared from the series and is a repeat from January. The case remains unsolved.

WALTON COUNTY, GA (Aug. 30 ,2023) – During the early morning hours of Sunday, April 18, 2004, Walton County Sheriff’s Investigators responded to a call out to Rockmore Road near its intersection with Old Zion Cemetery Road, east of Loganville.

A local resident had observed what appeared to be an object inside a red plastic bag located alongside the roadway. Closer inspection by the citizen revealed the “object” was in fact a deceased infant. Upon initiation of a crime scene investigation, investigators confirmed the presence of the body of a newborn male child located a few feet from a red biohazard bag, similar to those utilized in hospitals. Inside the bag was found a second plastic bag which contained the child’s placenta. The infant was determined to have gone full term to birth and was fully developed.

A full investigation was immediately initiated. Several witnesses who resided in the immediate area told investigators the bag had been observed on the side of the road since the Friday morning before. The child’s body was transported to the Georgia State Crime Lab for autopsy. The death was subsequently ruled a homicide after determining the child had been crushed by an automobile.

Numerous leads were identified and run to ground, including the canvassing of local middle and high
schools relative to unwanted pregnancies. After several months without success in determining the identity of the child or anyone who might have been involved, the case went “cold.”

A local Christian organization handled the funeral and burial arrangements for the child who was given the name Matthew Christian.

This case is currently being investigated by the Walton County Sheriff’s Office Cold Case Unit. Anyone with knowledge of this incident should contact Walton County Sheriff’s Office Investigator at 770-266-
1558 and leave a message or email michael.rising@co.walton.ga.us. All contacts will be kept confidential.

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