With assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Hamilton County DA’s office is renewing their efforts into solving the Joshua Walden cold case.
“This renewed activity you’re going to hear about today is indicative of the fact that the loss of Joshua was not lost on the members of the Chattanooga Police Department,” said Chattanooga Police Chief David Roddy. “Those members have continued to carry this around in their hearts during the last 20 years.”
On Dec. 9, 2000, 17-year-old Crystal Walden told police that her 10-year-old brother, Joshua Lee Walden, was missing. The next day, Joshua’s brother and a few friends were playing a half-mile away from their house when they found Joshua’s body.
The body was found in a “depression in the ground” and his corpse was covered with leaves. Whoever had killed the boy had poured muriatic acid on his body. There were no major abrasions or signs of sexual assault.
“We have an increased and renewed effort into the investigation of this case,” said District Attorney Neal Pinkston, “and for the next several days and weeks, the FBI will be working alongside the DA’s cold case unit as well as the Chattanooga Police Department in helping to seek the ends of justice and finally find the answer as to who killed Joshua Walden.”
Agent Joe Carrico said the FBI has sent resources from their behavioral analysis unit, and members from their Child Abduction Rapid Deployment (CARD) team to Chattanooga to assist with the investigation.
“We ask the public, if you recall anything that happened anything that happened on that fateful day back in December of 2000, something that comes to your mind, please reach out to the Chattanooga Police Department,” said Agent Carrico. “Please let us know, because you never know what tip might lead to the solving of this crime.”
During the last week, the District Attorney’s office has released videos and press releases bring awareness to the renewed investigation, and asking people to give any information they might have about the cold case. Mike Mathis, head of the cold case unit, said they have already gotten several tips as a result of the renewed publicity.
“We have (gotten tips), and some were called in, and General Pinkston looked through some of them,” said Mike Mathis. “We’ve got several off our tip line, and in some instances they’re anonymous. And those have been disseminated amongst the FBI and the cold case unit to be followed on this week.”
Anyone who has information about this case is urged to call the DA’s Cold Case Unit at (423) 209-7470. Or, you can send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.