A timeline released by the Georgia Bureau of Investigations in 2004 confirmed the bicycle belonging to a murdered 11-year-old Forsyth County, Ga. boy had been moved by family members before the child was reported missing.
It took GBI seven years to release the timeline to the public.
The child’s murder remains unsolved after nearly 19 years. His killer remains free.
It was Wednesday, Oct. 22, 1997, when Levi Frady, 11, was allegedly abducted while riding his red, 20-inch bicycle near his Burruss Mill Road home. According to Georgia House Rep. Kevin Tanner (R-Dawsonville), who worked the case as a young Dawson County deputy, no one actually saw Frady being abducted. His body was found the following day by deer hunters in the Dawson Forest Wildlife area, approximately 19 miles — and one county away — from his home. He had been shot three times, according to news reports.
Dawson and Forsyth authorities familiar with the case stated in 2014 the boy had been shot twice in the head and once through the upper body and that not all shots were fired at the same time or at the same location. Additionally, that Frady had called 911 in the days leading up to his murder.
Bicycle moved before Levi was reported missing
GBI’s timeline, published in the Dawson News & Advertiser on Nov. 3, 2004, seven years after Frady was murdered, highlights the events leading from the boy’s disappearance on Wednesday through the discovery of his body the next day. The following are extracts from the day his body was found. The complete timeline is published at the end of this news post.
What is not clear is why GBI took seven years to release these details to the public.
Thursday Oct. 23, 1997
“Levi’s sister (Laci Frady) talks to her father (Milton Frady) by phone but does not tell him that Levi is missing.”
A family member stated in a 2014 interview that Milton was told Levi was in the shower. Laci is Levi’s twin sister and was 11-years-old at the time.
“Levi’s mother telephones the parents of Levi’s friend and tells them she is looking for Levi.”
“… During this time, Levi’s grandfather and other relatives are out looking for Levi. They find the bicycle in the ditch located adjacent to a driveway and pick the bike up and take it over to Levi’s mother’s house. The family discusses the matter and decides to take the bicycle back to its location before law enforcement arrives.”
“The family discusses the matter and decides to take the bicycle back to its location before law enforcement arrives.”
Levi’s maternal grandfather is John Dorsey Hamby.
One law enforcement officer confirmed earlier on LeviFrady.com that there were no fingerprints on the bike — not even Levi’s. “It had been wiped clean,” he said.
” Levi’s mother files a missing person report with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office on her son Levi.”
“Levi’s mother calls her boyfriend (Tim Tatum) at his place of employment and tells him that Levi was still missing. He leaves work and comes to the search scene.”
A family member in an interview in 2014 interview, however, stated that Tim Tatum was seen in Dawson Forest the morning Levi was found.
“Levi’s mother contacts Levi’s father and apprises him of the situation.”
“Levi Frady’s body is found in Dawson Forest Wildlife Game Management Area by hunters. Crime scene reveals Levi had been shot three times.”
Click for complete GBI timeline
Officials with GBI were contacted May 23-24, 2016 for a statement about the seven year delay in releasing the timeline.
Yet, neither Director, Vernon Keenan, nor Public Affairs Director, Scott Dutton, have responded with an answer at the time of publication. Investigative Reporter, Kimberly Boim with LeviFrady.com, also asked for a face-to-face meeting with Keenan to discuss potential new information about the case. No response has been received from Keenan, but an email was sent to him. Copies were also emailed to Gov. Nathan Deal, House Rep. Kevin Tanner (R-Dawsonville), Sen. Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega), and House Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge).
Following is the content of the email to Keenan:
May 25, 2016
I received an email this morning from Scott Dutton, director of public affairs for GBi. He was responding to me on your behalf stating that you would not comment on the Levi Frady case since it is considered open and active. I understand this. However, that was not my request to you. My request was for a statement about why it took GBI seven years to release a timeline of events to the public.
I respectfully resubmit that request via this email.
Additionally, I asked to meet directly with you to share information I have uncovered as an investigative reporter. Information that might prove helpful. Mr. Dutton said in his email that if I have information he wants me to call him, and he will then pass it to agents assigned to the case.
Mr. Keenan, I made the request to meet with you as head of the GBI for a very specific reason. Members of Levi Frady’s family have shared with me their frustration and anger with GBI’s handling of the child’s murder.
For example, agents assigned to the case constantly change, and the family was left retelling their story from the beginning every time they called GBI with new information. No one apparently kept the family apprised of what was happening and very often did not return their calls. They eventually stopped calling. That is not a situation that will work for me and the rest of the public who have a right to know why it took GBI seven years to release a timeline. I am not asking for details of the case, sir, but an explanation of this egregious delay.
In less than five months, it will be 19 years since Levi Frady was shot to death. I launched LeviFrady.com on March 6, 2016, which would have been his 30th birthday. Since then, its pages have been read over 66,000 times. Clearly, people still care about this little boy.
GBI’s budget this year is $89.3 million. Part of that money comes from good, hard-working, taxpaying people of Dawson and Forsyth counties. Someone in your agency needs to be held accountable for the allocation of tax dollars and how it responds to the needs of the public.
Please accept this email as an open records request for details of monies allocated to the “open and active” investigation of Levi Frady’s murder in this fiscal year. Mr. Dutton said there were “agents” (plural) assigned to the case. My request is for their names and individual breakdowns of their salaries including medical, dental, and pension benefits paid for by the public.
With all the negative publicity law enforcement at the local and national levels is receiving, this is an opportunity for you, Mr. Keenan, to stand up and lead. This is an opportunity to help rebuild the public’s faith and confidence in your agency.
Gov. Nathan Deal appointed you for a reason. You are the recipient of “A Hero for Open Government” Award. You have served as deputy director and commander of GBI’s Investigative Division. My research reveals that drugs are a large part of this case. I believe you have the strength, experience and wisdom to live up to Gov. Deal’s expectations — and the public’s.
I have copied Gov. Deal, Mr. Dutton, and my local elected officials on this email. Thank you very much for your time and attention to the heartbreaking murder of this child.
Investigative Reporter, LeviFrady.com
As of 10:30 a.m., Thursday, May 26, Keenan has not responded to the email or to our open records request. By Georgia law, Keenan has three days to respond to open records requests. The public has a right to know.
Please post a comment and share your thoughts.
People have been silent too long.
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7 thoughts on “GBI timeline confirms murdered boy’s bicycle was moved by family members”
Was any arrests ever made in this case? Your article mentions drugs involved. Was testing done on those individuals involved with drugs close to the case? Was anyone ever brought in for questioning? You mentioned that Levi’s mother’s boyfriend Tim Tatum was seen in Dawson Forest. Was that ever followed up on? Are the people mentioned in the case (family and friends) still living now to continue the investigation?
The family deserves closure it’s been too long since this young man was robbed of his future ! I grew up/lived right beside Levi for a little more than a decade ! The authorities that deleted any information regarding this case should be held accountable, they should be prosecuted !!!!!! Its not right for anyone with a badge or not to think they deserve special treatment and can’t be held accountable that is bullshit!!! We pray justice for Levi will come by the end of 2020 !
My family had recently moved to Cumming from Alpharetta just before the little Frady boy was murdered. It really alarmed us since our son was about the same age. We were surprised to learn that the killer has yet to be caught. We realize that small town cops are at a disadvantage due to a lack of training and education. The fact that GBI has also failed to solve or properly handle this tragic case is somewhat surprising. We thought they were more qualified and intelligent than the local yokels, but apparently not. The whole thing is an absolute disgrace.
I agree. The Mom, boyfriend all are involved in some way. Not sure what the sister knew, probably just what she was told. I wonder where she is today and what she thinks. I wonder if the immediate family was investigated thoroughly. There has to be some type of evidence, DNA, prints, something, a witness, or even the sister knows something and god help her if she does and has never told anyone.
This is sad. I read an article in the paper about the anniversary of this crime. Asking for anyone who knows anything to come forward. I’m sensitive to things and can pick up on info in an intuitive way. I would like to share what I felt, before even reading anything about suspects, or the timeline. I immediately thought there was a live in boyfriend of the Mothers involved, and that the victim had threatened to tell or share info involving a crime that was being committed (drugs, abuse, etc.) within the family home, and it was part of a ring bigger then them. When I saw the photo of an officer out of uniform lifting the bike out of a ditch, I had an inkling that they had some crooked cops in the department back then that were involved in the crime ring somehow, and it was handled internally when exposed, and this case has been hushed because of the potential embarrassment. I also felt like a murder weapon would be found in a river. Keep digging for info, Keep pursuing, this boy deserves justice. Thank you.