Remains found under billboard in 1998 identified as boy, 10

Remains found under billboard in 1998 identified as boy, 10
A sketch of Robert "Bobby" Adam Whitt.

MEBANE, NC (AP/WMBF/WRAL) - The remains of a child found under a billboard in North Carolina have been identified two decades later.

Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood told news outlets Tuesday that the child was 10-year-old Robert “Bobby” Adam Whitt, who was born in Michigan and raised in Ohio.

The boy’s bones were kept in the Osteology Room in the state’s medical examiner’s office following their discovery, according to NBC affiliate WRAL. No matches were found in databases of children reported missing nationwide. For 20 years, he was known simply as his case number at the N.C. medical examiner’s office: 98-6796, the outlet reported.

Last year, the consultant who helped solve the Golden State Killer case, Barbara Rae-Venter, used DNA to determine the child was half-Asian and half-white. Online DNA ancestry services identified a possible relative.

That relative disclosed Bobby’s name, saying family assumed his mother took him to South Korea. Based on that information, police determined an unidentified woman found in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, around the same time was Bobby’s mother.

Authorities have identified a suspect who’s incarcerated in a separate case. That suspect hasn’t been charged.

Copyright 2019 WMBF/WRAL. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.