A man looking for rabbit traps discovered the body of 14-year-old Lubie (Chuck) Geter in woods south of Atlanta today, bringing the city's 18-month-long chain of murdered black children to 15 -- with two others missing.
About six hours after the body was discovered, Geter's mother identified her son, who vanished Jan. 3 from a shopping center in South Atlanta where he was peddling automobile deodorizers.
Angelo Fuster, a spokesman for Mayor Maynard Jackson, said the body appeared to have been in the woods "a few weeks." Cause of death was not established.
The site of today's discovery is about 4 1/2 miles from where the skeletal remains of Christopher Richardson, 11, and Earl Lee Terrell, 10, were found last month.
H. F. Potts, 49, who lives about two miles from the spot where Geter's body was found, said he had decided to search the area after a child told him someone had been setting illegal rabbit traps there.
Potts said he was looking for the traps when a puppy belonging to a neighbor came out of the woods with something in its mouth.
He said he followed the dog's path and saw the body "laying on its back with its arms out. The body looked nude.
"It was a black person, but I didn't take that much of a look," he said. "I stayed right away from it. I stopped a school bus driver and told her to call police."
All of the 17 children who have vanished were black, and all were between 9 and 15 years old. All but two were boys, leading investigators to believe that not all of the cases are related.
Investigators apparently are not close to solving the killings.
Atlanta police have asked other law enforcement agencies to provide theories, and city officials have also gone to the state and federal governments for financial aid.
Vice President Bush will handle the federal effort to assist Atlanta in solving the murders and disappearances, according to aides to Mayor Jackson.
Fuster, Jackson's aide, said the mayor received that information in a call Wednesday from Deputy U.S. Attorney General Charles B. Renfrew.
But Fuster said Renfrew apparently made no firm commitment to Jackson for financial help in the investigations.