9-year-old Atlanta child murders victim honored with headstone 41 years after his death

ATLANTA — A 9-year-old victim of the Atlanta child murders finally has a headstone to mark his grave site 41 years after his death.

Anthony “Tony” Bernard Carter was brutally stabbed to death in July of 1980. He was buried in Hogansville, Ga., but did not get a headstone to mark his final resting place. The exact location of his remains are unknown today.

On Saturday, Hogansville community leaders, Carter’s family members and a partnership of local businesses came together to give Carter the funeral service he deserved.

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A dedication service was held at Springfield Baptist Church before family members gathered at the cemetery as the headstone was unveiled.

“We’ve come today to give him the proper burial he should have received way back then,” Bishop Collier J. Starks with Springfield Baptist said. “His life did matter, and its sad that it was taken.”

William G. Murray & Son Funeral Home in Atlanta donated the headstone, which was placed in the Westview Cemetery in Hogansville.

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Family members gathered around the grave site wearing T-shirts with pictures of Carter on them and then released balloons in Carter’s honor.

Carter was one of at least 28 Black children killed in Atlanta between July 1979 and May 1981. Wayne Williams was arrested and convicted of killing two adults during the same time period and police have since attributed many of the child murders to him, but he has never been charged in the children’s deaths.

Carter’s death is one that has been attributed to Williams.

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Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms reopened the cases in 2019, hoping new technology could help resolve the case. Last week, Bottoms announced that DNA will be analyzed in a private lab.

William G. Murray & Son said it will also create headstones for other victims of the murders as needed. The funeral home has partnered with Grace and Mercy Concierge Bereavement Services, which has been working to memorialize the missing and murdered children of Atlanta since the 1980s.