Hannah Truelove was 16 years old when she was murdered. Her body was found in a wooded area behind her apartment complex in Gainesville, Georgia, more than 10 years ago, and the person responsible for her death has yet to be brought to justice.
On Aug. 23, 2012, Hannah’s mom, Mona Harris, went to work. When she returned to their home at the Lake Lanier Club Apartments on Dawsonville Highway, Hannah wasn’t there to greet her.
She knew that she had been there earlier because she saw that the mail was tossed on the couch, according to True Crime Daily.
Harris took a nap.
When she woke up, Hannah, a student at Gainesville High School, still wasn’t home. That’s when she called her ex-husband, Jeff Truelove, who is also Hannah’s father, and asked if they had gone on their usual dinner date.
When Jeff told her that their daughter wasn’t with him, Harris called several of Hannah’s friends, but they hadn’t seen her either.
She then contacted the Hall County Police Department and reported Hannah missing, which prompted a search.
WSBTV reported that Hannah was last seen hanging out with her friends in the common area of the apartment building around 7:30 p.m. that same day.
Law enforcement officers searched for Hannah in the surrounding wooded areas, but they eventually had to call it off after a storm hit, which left two to three inches of streams in its wake.
The following day, on Aug. 24, 2012, Hannah was found dead. A man walking his dog came across her body behind Lake Lanier Club Apartments in a heavily wooded area, a quarter-mile from her home, which was directly behind her apartment complex.
Her remains were transported to the state’s medical examiner’s office for an autopsy, but the results were withheld from the public because the investigation is ongoing, The Gainesville Times reported.
However, investigators did state that Hannah had been stabbed multiple times.
Lt. Dan Franklin with the Hall County Sheriff told 11 Alive in 2018 that Hannah “was laying under submerged water for a period of time, and so, unfortunately, what that did is, it washed away a great deal of our trace evidence and blood evidence.”
A witness told investigators that before Hannah was reported missing, a silver car containing three unidentified male teens had pulled into the apartment complex.
A male subject exited the vehicle and walked around a treeline, out of sight of the witness.
That individual returned about 10 minutes later, but this time, Hannah was seen walking 10 to 15 steps behind him. They continued across the parking lot and behind a building, near the area where her body was found.
She was seen alive after that, but investigators said the male Hannah was seen walking with is still a person of interest in the case.
Franklin said, “We’ve had several persons of interest that we’ve looked at and interviewed, and again, what we’re looking for is somebody on the fringe.”
“Somebody that has knowledge that has a piece of information that’ll open the door to these people that we’ve already looked at that we’re not ready to discount yet.”
“There is a small chance that it could just have been random, but I believe in my heart that it is someone that she knew,” Mona told reporters.
She added, “She’s just a funny, loving, compassionate child that did not deserve anything like this.”
“I know that one or two people saw what happened… and were afraid to come forth. If they could come forth, they’d be fine. Don’t worry about what the consequences would be for revealing the killer. We gotta get this solved.” Jeff stated.
Investigators received information that she may have had a stalker. The day before Hannah disappeared, she tweeted, “I need to move out of these dang apartments” and “so scared right now,” along with a concerning string of tweets.
Franklin asserted that her tweets “were just her venting, and there was nothing that was a legitimate threat that came from those.”
Throughout the years, Hall County police have received thousands of tips, but none of them have helped in solving Hannah’s murder.
“I think there were too many people out that evening,” Franklin said. “If she was taken against her will, they would have hurt something or heard a struggle. I feel she came to this location with somebody voluntarily. Somebody she knew.”
He went on to say that he would never give up on the search to find Hannah’s killer or killers. He suspects there was more than one person present at the time the teen was murdered.
GBI reported that “a 1990s to early 2000s four-door vehicle, which was possibly a light silver-colored Chevrolet or Dodge with front-end damage,” was seen in the area at the time of the murder.
Investigators believe the occupants of the car could provide information that would help the case.
Hannah’s funeral was held on Aug. 29, 2012, at the Timber Ridge Baptist Church in Gainesville. She was laid to rest at Timber Ridge Baptist Church Cemetery.
Anyone with information regarding the unsolved murder of Hannah Truelove is encouraged to contact the Hall County sheriff at 770-531-6885 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.