Who Killed 7-year-old Boy 35 Years Ago in Atlantic City?
Thirty-five years ago, the body of 7-year-old Gary Grant Jr. was found in an abandoned lot, just two blocks away from the boys home. The boy had been missing two day. He was found bludgeoned to death.
In a news release, Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner, who grew up in Atlantic City, says he remembers the boy's disappearance. Tyner was 13-years-old, but he and Grant Jr. attended the same school: “I remember Gary Jr. not being at my basketball practice because he was missing. I remember it like it was yesterday. It was heightened fear at that time at school because a little kid was missing and that kind of thing didn’t just happen,” Prosecutor Tyner said.
Tyner says that despite the long passage of time, the case is still open, and his office is still looking for solve the murder mystery: “There is no such thing as a cold case in Atlantic County because we are working to investigate every unsolved homicide. The unsolved murder of Gary Grant Jr., like any other case is very important to solve to be able to give the family, friends and community closure,” Prosecutor Tyner said.
On January 12, 1984, 7 year-old Gary Grant Jr. was at home with his mother May Grant and he left his home at approx. 12:00 p.m. and was told by his mother to return home by 4:00 p.m.
Grant Jr.’s mother became worried when her son failed to return home at 4 p.m., and she began to worry, knowing that being late was uncharacteristic of Grant Jr. She decided to search for him by going to residences of his two friends. They both said there were playing with him, but Gary Jr. left by 4:30 p.m., to head home.
After searching for more than two hours May called her estranged husband Gary Grant Sr. He immediately took time off his night shift at the Atlantic City Police Department in order to search surrounding areas with other members of law enforcement. The search lasted until 2 a.m., and nobody was able to track Grant Jr.’s whereabouts.
After learning of the Grant Jr.’s disappearance, a property owner discovered Grant Jr.’s body on Saturday, January 14, 1984, at Atlantic City’s 100 block of North California Avenue in an abandoned lot just two blocks from Gary Grant Jr.’s home.
Investigation by members of the Atlantic City Police Department, the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office and Atlantic County Medical Examiner’s determined Grant Jr. was bludgeoned to death.