GREENWICH, N.Y. – Five years after the 12-year-old Washington County boy went missing, officials announce the Jaliek Rainwalker case has been upgraded to a “probable child homicide” case.
The announcement was made during a press conference Thursday by Greenwich Chief of Police George Bell after investigators with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children renewed the investigation in October, searching for more clues into the boy's 2007 disappearance.
National Investigators worked with Cambridge-Greenwich Police and State Police in hopes of finding new information and developing new leads.
Thursday, Bell said the investigation remains “very active.” They would not name any specific suspects in the renewed investigation, but say they have been able to eliminate some.
Jaliek's grandmother, Barbara Reely, says she just wants to know where her grandson is. “We drive by cemeterys and my heart was breaking because there are markers for people. There is no marker for our grandson. We just want a marker, we want to know where he is.”
Jaliek was 12-years-old when he disappeared in Washington County on November 1, 2007. The last person known to be with him was his adoptive father, Stephen Kerr, after he picked him up from Altamont.
The Kerr family has admitted they were in the process of recinding emotionally disabled boy's adoption. The family claims Jaliek ran away, perhaps to join a gang.
Investigator's update to the case Thursday claims otherwise. “This is not a runaway,” New York State Police Investigator Gloria Coppola says. “This is a presumed homicide.” Saying any little bit of information from the public could be very important to the investigation.
The case has split the family especially since Kerr has been uncooperative with police.
“If you did nothing wrong, if you have nothing to hide, why don't you cooperate with law enforcement to help find your son,” Dennis Smith, Jaliek's grandfather, said Thursday.
Kerr's attorney, Jeffery McMorris, said he was not informed of Thursday's press conference. He told NEWS10 it would be premature for Kerr and himself to sit down with law enforcement to discuss the case, which Chief Bell has invited them to do.
“Until they find him I would determine it cruel they would consider him dead,” McMorris said.
Police say Kerr was the last person to see Jaliek, and remains a person of interest in the case though no charges have been filed.
The family has since moved away from their Greenwich home.