It’s now been 10 years since 18-year-old Justin Gaines disappeared from a Duluth nightclub.
The Gainesville State College freshman was ending a night at the now-closed Wild Bill’s nightclub. He called multiple friends to ask for a ride, but nobody was able to pick him up. Gaines left the club around 1:30 a.m. on Nov. 2, 2007, surveillance video shows. He was never seen again.
The Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office has an idea of what may have happened to Gaines, Lt. Col. Carl Sims told Channel 2 Action News.
Sims, the lead investigator on the case, believes Gaines got a ride from a blonde woman at Wild Bill’s, and that the woman took him to a house in Snellville. Gaines was then robbed and killed, and his body was dumped in Lake Lanier before being moved to a well in Barrow County or Walton County, Sims believes.
A man named Dylan Glass has told police that he assaulted Gaines and took his diamond earring, but did not kill him. He is in prison on unrelated charges, and has not been charged in connection with Gaines’ disappearance. Glass also recorded a video encouraging witnesses to come forward, Channel 2 reported.
The sheriff’s department has interviewed “literally hundreds and hundreds of people” about Gaines’ disappearance, but much of it comes back to Glass, Sims said.
Gaines’ mother, Erika Wilson, is still searching for answers. As 1:30 a.m. approached on the morning of Nov. 2 this year, she found herself unable to sleep, consumed with the thought of what could have happened to her son, she told Channel 2.
“Was he getting beat in the head at this time? Was he getting shot at this time? Were they putting weights on him and throwing him in the lake?” Wilson said in an interview with Channel 2. “I mean, last night, I couldn't control it.”
Sims believes the department is “close” to solving the mystery.
“We haven't given up on it,” Sims told Channel 2. “We believe we are close and we believe the answer will one day come to us.”
There is still a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest or indictment in this case. Contact the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office at 770-619-6500 or an anonymous tip line linked to the case, 877-270-9500, with any information.