Father of boy found dead under Mebane billboard in 1998 charged with murder

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The father of a boy whose death had remained a mystery for years has officially been charged with first-degree murder and concealment of death.

John Russell Whitt, 57. was indicted in Orange County on Monday in the July 29, 1998, death of 10-year-old Robert "Bobby" Adam Whitt, whose remains were found in September 1998 under a billboard near I-85 in Mebane.

Whitt had been the prime suspect since February when the Orange County Sheriff's Office revealed that new DNA technology and other research had helped identify the remains and began a trail that eventually led to John Whitt.

Whitt is also suspected in the death of Bobby's mother, Myong Hwa, who had been found dead in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, in 1998.

A lawn-maintenance crew originally found Bobby Whitt's body under a billboard on Industrial Drive, near the Alamance County-Orange County line.

For nearly 20 years, Bobby's identity remained a mystery.

Whitt is already in a Kentucky prison and has been since the 1990s on an unrelated federal charge.
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