KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — While there are numerous cold cases in the City of Knoxville dating as far back as 1968. 10 of those cases are for children.
In February, a new unit began working in the Knoxville Police Department. The newly-formed Homicide Unit looks into all homicides, suspicious deaths, suicides, non-fatal shootings with a victim and any assault in which the victim suffers potentially life-threatening injuries.
In March, the unit closed a murder case from 1984. Since the Homicide Unit’s formation, Knoxville Police said it began reviewing unsolved murder case files.
Here are the cold cases involving children in Knoxville that are still open.
Averie Vernie “Peaches” Shorts
6-year-old Peaches went missing the day after Christmas in 1980 from an apartment in the Montgomery Village Housing Project in South Knoxville, Knoxville police said.
Her body was found over a year later on January 23, 1982, off Singleton Station Road in Blount County. According to police, she was found buried under a cattle chute with a wire wrapped around her neck.
Demarcus Miller and Tanesha Miller
Demarcus Miller, age 9, and Tanesha Miller, age 6, were found dead with Eula Miller, age 28 on January 18, 1989, according to the Knoxville Police Department.
According to Knoxville Police, 17-year-old Damion Boyd died at 2440 E. Magnolia Avenue on March 7, 1999.
17-year-old Demarcus Page was found shot and killed on May 26, 2007, when investigators responded to a shooting call, Knoxville police say. According to police, he was found in the Christenberry Heights housing project.
Kevin Dewayne Smith Jr.
Police responded to a call for a shooting on the 400 block of S. Hall of Fame Drive on December 3, 2008.
According to Knoxville police, investigators found Kevin Dewayne Smith Jr.,16, dead inside of an apartment and appeared to have a gunshot wound. According to a family member, Smith Jr. was shot in the head.
In 2022, police told WATE that considering the length of time in his case, they would likely need new information or valuable evidence from someone to make an arrest.
On February 16, 2021, officers responded to a homicide at a home on the 2500 block of Selma Avenue.
Janaria Muhammad, 15, was found laying behind the home with at least one apparent gunshot wound, according to Knoxville Police. She was pronounced dead at an area hospital.
Reports state that investigators believed that Muhammad was shot by occupants of a blacked-out car who fled the scene.
The police department added that the investigation is ongoing. In 2022, the East Tennessee Valley Crime Stoppers offered a reward of up to $3,000 for information regarding Muhammad’s murder.
Muhammad was shot days after Austin-East Magnet student Stanley Freeman Jr., 16, was shot and killed as he was driving home from school.
Police say Jamarion Gillette, 15, was found suffering from a gunshot wound on the side of Cherokee Trail around 11:30 p.m. on March 9, 2021. Gillette died from his injuries around 5:45 the next morning.
Jamarion was the fourth Austin-East Magnet High School student who died from gun violence in the first three months of 2021.
According to Knoxville Police, the investigation into his death is ongoing.
17-year-old Amilcar Martinez was found when police responded to a homicide.
Martinez was found near the intersection of Washington Avenue and Winona Street on September 2, 2022. According to police, Martinez was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to police, the investigation into Martinez’s death is ongoing.
The investigation into the death of Germany Hines, 16, is still ongoing according to police. According to the Knoxville Police Department, officers responded to a murder at an address on the 400 block of Taylor Homes Road.
In December 2022, police said the Hines died in a “targeted” shooting. Knoxville police reported that they were searching for two unidentified suspects who left the scene and that investigators found that Hines was walking through the apartment complex when he was shot multiple times.
In addition to the 10 children listed above, the City of Knoxville’s website lists at least 31 more open cold cases for individuals who were 25 years old or younger when they died.
To view all of the cold cases in the city, visit the City of Knoxville’s website.