The Latest: Family of slain mother and son heartbroken

MEBANE, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on investigation that shows a slain woman and child who remained unidentified for decades were mother and son (all times local):

5:20 p.m.

Relatives of a slain mother and son whose bodies remained unidentified for decades say they had been told the woman took her child back to Korea to raise him.

In a statement released through the Orange County, North Carolina, Sheriff’s Office, the family of 10-year-old Robert “Bobby” Adam Whitt and his mother, Myoung Hwa Cho, said, “Our hearts are broken into a million pieces. We had no idea that Bobby and Myong Hwa were no longer with us and had not been for a very long time.”

The bodies were found in separate states along Interstate 85 in 1998. No one connected the two slayings until a DNA expert took a fresh look at the cases last year.

Cho’s husband, the boy’s father, is serving time in federal prison on unrelated charges. Spartanburg County, South Carolina, Sheriff’s Lt. Kevin Bobo said that after being questioned several times he confessed to killing his wife and son. No charges have yet been filed in the slayings.


9 a.m.

The remains of a boy found under a billboard in North Carolina have been identified two decades later.

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

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-Caucasian. 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, police determined an unidentified woman whose remains were found in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, around the same time was Bobby’s mother.

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

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