Levi Frady was 11 years old when he was murdered. His body was found in a wooded area in Dawson County, Georgia, more than two decades ago, and the person responsible for his death has yet to be brought to justice.
At around 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 22, 1997, Levi, a sixth-grade student at North Forsyth Middle School, arrived home from school and called his mother, Marilyn Parkman, at her job.
Levi told her he wanted to go to a friend’s house, less than a mile from his home in Dawsonville. Parkman gave her son permission to go, but she told him to be home by 6:30 p.m.
He hung up the phone, hopped on his red bicycle with his backpack on, and left.
At around 6:38 p.m., Levi arrived at another friend’s house to call his mother, but she was in the bathtub; therefore, his twin sister, Laci, answered the phone. She told him that their mother wanted him to come home.
Levi was reluctant to head home. It was getting dark, and he was fearful that he would encounter several dogs, but he did as he was told.
At about 6:45 p.m., Levi got on his bicycle and pedaled home, but he took a different route. In lieu of traveling on Picklesimer Road, his usual route, he went down Little Mill Road to avoid coming into contact with a dog.
About five minutes into his commute, a resident in the area saw him pedaling away with a small, black dog following behind him. He was trying to get home, but he never made it.
When Levi hadn’t arrived home by 7 p.m., his mother called his friend’s house to find out what was going on, but there was no answer. That’s when she and her daughter left their home to look for Levi.
Despite their diligence, they were unable to find him. They did, however, discover Levi’s bicycle about a mile from their house.
At around 8 a.m. the following morning, on Oct. 23, 1997, Parkman contacted the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office and reported Levi missing.
Law enforcement officers began searching the surrounding areas of Little Mill Road, which, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, “is a well-traveled road between Highways 306 and 369.”
At around 2 p.m. that same day, Levi was found dead. Hunters discovered his bullet-riddled body partially submerged in a water-filled ditch in the Dawson Forest Game Management Area in Dawson County.
An autopsy showed that Levi had been shot three times: once in the chest and twice in the head.
He was not sexually assaulted.
AccessWDUN reported that retired Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent Jim Hallman believed that Levi’s kidnapper had every intention of sexually assaulting him, but for whatever reason, he or she “killed him before any assault occurred.”
His death prompted Levi’s Call, which, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, is a “program designed to get the word out to the public via radio and television within minutes of a confirmed abduction.”
“Its goal is simple: locate a child and an abductor quickly before any harm comes to the child.”
Levi’s Call is the Georgia version of the national Amber Alert for missing children. It was created after the abduction and murder of 9-year-old Amber Hagerman.
With the help of several residents, police officials were able to create a composite sketch of two possible witnesses.
One of the men was seen walking along Little Mill Road in Forsyth County, while the other was seen within the vicinity of the Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area.
Kim Williams, a GBI special agent, told Forsyth County News that “to this day, leads still develop with the case.”
“We consistently work with [leads] and follow leads, and talk with local agencies of Dawson and Forsyth counties in an effort to find a resolution.”
Williams added that while there haven’t been any major breaks in the case, “there have been substantial leads that have been followed and continue to be follow.”
“The big takeaway is that GBI, Forsyth, and Dawson all want to solve this case and hold someone responsible for Levi’s death.”
“And we are interested in any information the public has… relating to the day he disappeared and when he was found.”
Anyone with information regarding the unsolved murder of Levi Frady is encouraged to contact the GBI office in Cleveland at (706) 348-4866 or online at Tips@gbi.ga.gov.