Boy, 13, found dead in woods near DeKalb park was missing for days, family says

A flash of blue under thick brush was the first indication the search for 13-year-old Jamiren Crosby was over.

Virginia Montgomery and her child spotted what appeared to be a blue tarp in a wooded area Monday afternoon while walking home from school through Lithonia Park. After drawing closer, the woman told Channel 2 Action News they spotted a gray skull cap and gray tennis shoes, and the body of a boy clutching a branch.

“I saw it. I said, ‘Wait a minute. That looks like somebody laying there,’” Montgomery said. “Whoever did this, y’all wrong.”

The discovery was made about 4:20 p.m. in the woods behind a row of townhomes on Parkview Trail, which borders the park, according to DeKalb County police. Investigators confirmed the victim was a young boy, but few other details were released Tuesday. They have not confirmed his identity or said if foul play is suspected in his death.

Jamiren’s family told Channel 2 they had been looking for him since late Saturday night, sending out search parties to comb local parks and schools. His body was ultimately found just 10 minutes from his home, the news station reported.

When she arrived at the crime scene Monday, relative Brittanie Malone said her worst fears were confirmed.

“He didn’t deserve that, what happened to him. He didn’t,” Malone said. “He’s a sweet child.”

It was not clear Tuesday if the family had reported Jamiren missing to police. According to the DeKalb County School District, he was a student at DeKalb Alternative School.

The case bears some resemblance to that of David Mack, the 12-year-old boy who left his grandmother’s southwest Atlanta home on Feb. 9, 2021, and never returned. His body was found the next day in a wooded area behind a public golf course about a half-mile away. The seventh-grader had been shot to death.

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Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Despite repeated calls for information, Atlanta police have yet to make an arrest in his killing. No murder weapon was ever recovered, according to police Maj. Carlo Peek, and surveillance cameras at the park where the child was last seen were not working at the time.

“Regardless of how minute you think that information you have related to David Mack, it may just be what we need to break this case, to find a motive and bring someone to justice,” Peek said during a news conference this summer asking for help in the case, which has gone cold.

Pat Bailey, the director for the DeKalb County Medical Examiner’s Office, said Tuesday his investigators were still working to determine how the boy found in Lithonia died. It remains to be seen what evidence will be available to the detectives working his case, or what closure it might provide his family.

— This story is developing. Please return to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for updates.