Remains Found Under Orange County Billboard In 1998 Identified As Boy, 10, Killed By Father
Updated 8:35 a.m. Wednesday
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.
Whitt's father, currently serving time in federal prison on unrelated charges, confessed to killing Whitt and his mother.
According to authorities, a lawn maintenance crew found Whitt's remains under a billboard near I-85 in September 1998. No matches were found, nor was anyone able to identify the child, in the two decades following.
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, Myoung Hwa Cho, took him to South Korea. In a statement released through the sheriff's office, a family member said they had "no idea that Bobby and Myong Hwa were no longer with us and had not been for a very long time."
Based on that information, police determined that an unidentified woman found in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, around the same time was Bobby's mother.
There is a strong possibility she was killed during the same time period.
Authorities say that Cho's husband confessed to killing the two after being questioned several times. No charges have yet been filed.