GARNER — Police said Thursday that 16-year-old Joshua Davis was hit by a vehicle Jan. 6, 2004, at the side of the road in his subdivision. The case had been considered a homicide.
"This is a good piece of information in the sense that we now know what happened," said Garner Police Chief Thomas Moss.
Davis left the home of his mother, Judy Creech, at 1512 Hall Blvd. about 7 p.m. with his cousin, Michael Morong, to play basketball at his father's home at 206 Tiffany Circle, about three blocks away. Morong returned to Creech's home to get a compact disc, and Davis waited for him at the end of the road. When Morong returned a few minutes later, Davis, a freshman at Garner High School, was on the ground unconscious.
Investigators initially thought that the teen could have been hit by a car bumper or mirror but suspected that someone hit him with a baseball bat because of the nature of his injuries.
A little more than a year ago, Moss said, his department hired a private investigative firm. The work included re-creating the scene and examining wounds and blood spatter to narrow possibilities of how Davis could have been killed.
"We were able to finally determine, based on the information, that it was, in fact, a vehicle-pedestrian crash," Moss said.
The next step is finding the driver of that vehicle, the chief said. "We're hoping somebody who was driving on that street will remember something," he said. "It could be the driver may not have seen Josh on the side of the road.
"Clearly the striking would have made enough noise that he would've known he had struck something on the side of the road," Moss said.
"There's no easy way to find out what happened to your child," Creech said.
"I think finally having closure on what happened ... just finally gave me peace of mind. For a very long time, I continually put scenario after scenario in my head because there was no [confirmation]."
She said she still has moments when memories of her oldest child flood back. Sometimes, it's just from opening a drawer and noticing a familiar shirt.
"I would just hope somebody would come forward," she said. "They've had to live for the last three years knowing what they have done. I think that would have had to be difficult on their part, too."
Anyone with information is asked to call 772-8810 or (800) 334-3000. A $10,000 reward is available.