Eleven-year-old Levi Frady rode the Forsyth County school bus home on the last day of his life. He was the kind of kid that always carried a comb in his pocket or backpack. Maybe it was habit. At one time, a small wart on his forehead, above his right eye, embarrassed him, and he’d comb his hair down over it so no one could see. According to a source familiar with the case, a comb was found near his body when it was discovered.
Levi’s family last saw him at 4:15, Wednesday, Oct. 22, 1997 when he left on his red bicycle to study at a friend’s house. The 5th game of the World Series with the Florida Marlines taking on the Cleveland Indians was scheduled for later that evening.
A Dawson County Georgia Sheriff’s Office report stated that Frady left his Burruss Mill Road home Wednesday afternoon to do homework at the Noah Road home of a friend. He was expected back by 6:30 p.m., according to Forsyth County News, Oct. 26, 1997.
Roman Martinez was one of two friends Levi visited that fateful day. After playing together, Roman stood in the road in front of his house and watched Levi ride his bike over the hill and out of sight. He never saw his buddy again. …
…Levi was headed to another boy’s house and planned to eat out with them, but he couldn’t get in touch with his mother, Marilyn Frady Parkman, to ask permission. Relatives say she was in the bathtub when he called, and she told Laci to tell Levi to come home. But authorities say the other boy’s mother couldn’t reach Levi’s mom by phone, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Nov. 9, 1997.
While at one of his friend’s homes, Levi enjoyed jumping on a trampoline.
And yet, he didn’t arrive home as expected at 6:30 p.m.
By 7 p.m. it was nearly dark. Parkman went to the Noah Road home around 7:30 p.m. when Frady had not returned. … No one was home at that address when Parkman stopped by. She told sheriff’s office investigators she fell asleep after going home, but Frady had not returned when she woke up at 2 a.m. She said she thought he had spent the night at another friend’s house, according to Forsyth County News, Oct. 26, 1977.
Levi was afraid of the dark, family members said. Daylight savings time would still be in effect for four more days. Temperatures on Oct. 22, 1997: High 68, low 48. Light rain/drizzle.
According to an AJC report on Oct. 24, 1997, Laci Frady, the boy’s fraternal twin, spotted the bike Wednesday night while she and her mother, Marilyn Parkman, mounted their own search after Levi did not return home at 6:30 p.m. — the designed time, Laci Frady said. Thursday (Oct. 23).
Laci later recalled that her mother simply didn’t react when they saw the bike, according to the AJC, Nov. 9, 1997. Link to AJC story
This blog’s author during her investigation hired a private helicopter from North Atlanta Executive Air of Cumming, and a professional photographer to take aerial pictures of Levi’s home and the route he may have travelled.
A bicycle lay in the grass near the location on Little Mill Road where Levi’s bike was originally found. Yellow rectangles served as visual cues for the pilot and photographer.
“I remember exactly where they (authorities) found the bike because it was right down from my house,” a Little Mille Road resident said in 2014.
Some news outlets at the time reported Levi had been abducted — although no one saw him being taken. House Rep. Kevin Tanner (R-Dawsonville) was working on the case in 1997 as a young deputy with the Dawson County Sheriff’s office.
“The reality is there really wasn’t any solid leads at the time as far as the abduction side, where he was last seen on Little Mill (Road),” Tanner said during a phone interview Feb. 18, 2016. “So there’s no one who actually saw him being taken, and if they did they’ve never come forward.”
Tanner also said one of the best homicide investigators in the state worked the case.
“He’s retired now, Tim Attaway,” he said. “(GBI) Director Vernon Keenan would agree, if not the best, one of the best homicide investigators in modern history with GBI. He was just outstanding. He worked on the case for an untold amount of time and so did profilers from the FBI, GBI, (there was) a tremendous amount of news coverage, hundreds of interviews canvassing the neighborhoods.”
In June 2012, W. Timothy Attaway, was appointed to the governor’s Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. He retired from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation with more than 30 years of state law enforcement experience. He is currently employed with Cathey & Strain, attorneys at law in Cornelia. Attaway obtained a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Georgia. He and his wife, Carol Ann, have one son. They reside in Clermont, according to a press release posted on Gov. Nathan Deal’s website, Office of Gov. Nathan Deal.
When asked what it will take solve the Levi Frady case, Tanner said it has to be someone talking about it.
“I think it will take the person involved, or someone who has direct knowledge talking about it,” he said. “Sometimes — it often does — maybe somebody knew something at the time, but then years later, they’re not in the same situation they were in, so they’re more open to discuss it.
“All of us who have been touched by it in some way want to see it solved.”
The morning after Levi disappeared, Milton Frady, the boy’s father called home before school started to check on his children. He was told by Laci that Levi was in the shower, according to a family source.
Milton and Marilyn Frady were married Feb. 14, 1984. Their divorce was finalized Feb. 2, 1989 with the wife receiving, “permanent, legal custody of both minor children,” according to documents filed in the Superior Court of Forsyth County, Ga.
NEXT UP: What happened the day Levi’s body was found? Had his bicycle been moved?
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