Supporters worry renewed push in child murders case may jeopardize investigation

Supporters worry renewed push in child murders case may jeopardize investigation

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — One day after Channel 2 Action News broke the news that Fulton County's district attorney is looking at more cases connected to the Atlanta Missing and Murdered Children investigation, a key supporter of convicted killer Wayne Williams is speaking out.

The bodies of the 28 known victims were found around metro Atlanta in the late '70s and early '80s.

Williams is believed to the main the suspect in the killings, but one man told Channel 2 Gwinnett County Bureau Chief Tony Thomas that he believes Williams is innocent.

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Williams and his key supporters say they are worried the widening of this latest look into the Atlanta Missing and Murdered Children's case will derail the investigation.

As Thomas spoke Friday with activist Dewayne Hendrix, Williams called Hendrix from prison.

Williams asked us not to record his call from prison, but he told Hendrix he was just checking in on the latest developments of his case.

As part of a reopening of the Missing and Murdered cases from 40 years ago, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard says his team is now looking at cases never included in the investigation in the late '70s and early '80s -- more than two dozen killings of mostly black children that shocked and terrorized the Atlanta area.

"We are looking at all of the deaths that involved black children in a similar manner," Howard said Thursday in an exclusive interview with Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne.

Williams was convicted of killing two adults but was suspected others killings. Authorities this year began taking a fresh look at the cases including the death of Mel Gray’s cousin.

“I just hope they find out who really did this. That's the whole thing I pray for every night and I hope for,” Gray said.

Gray and others don't believe Williams committed most or in some cases any of the killings. Hendrix told Thomas the he and Williams worry the latest development from the district attorney is simply a distraction.

[The Atlanta Child Murders: An interactive timeline]

“I think they've absolutely lost focus,” Hendrix said. “If the whole point was to open those case, why would we go fishing to find potential murders when we haven't solved the initial ones? It makes no sense.”

Howard said his team simply needs to collect evidence and start with a blank slate.

Hendrix and other Williams supporters are teaming up with a Gwinnett County private investigator, conducting their own investigation as well.