WARNER ROBINS — Chuckie Mauk is not forgotten. It’s been 23 years since the 13-year-old was shot in the back of the head Feb. 17, 1986, while riding his bicycle home from the neighborhood grocery store where he’d gone to pick up some candy and gum.
“It’s like picking the scab off the wound again, but it’s just something I have to do,” said his mom, Cathy Miller, a 58-year-old clerical coordinator for a Warner Robins obstetrician. “I have to know what happened to my child. I just can’t ever let it go.”
She’s not alone.
A new group of Houston County sheriff’s investigators is reviewing the cold case.Sheriff’s Capt. Robert Clark said as personnel change out, it’s good to “look at things in a fresh light.”
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Also, sheriff’s investigators recently completed some cold case training, sheriff’s Lt. Jon Holland said.And retired Cap. Harry Enckler, who originally investigated the slaying and previously headed investigations, met with investigators to go over the case a couple weeks ago, Holland said.
“We don’t ever let go,” Holland said. “We’re the voice of those who can no longer speak for themselves.”Miller said the renewed interest in the case was sudden.
She was contacted last week by Nancy Grace’s Cold Cases, which featured Chuckie’s story on its Web site Tuesday. Miller also was featured in a live interview on the Web site.
Like the investigators, Miller believes that there is someone still out there who has information that may lead to the case being solved.
She also believes her son’s killer may still be alive. “Even for them, this has got to be an enormous secret to keep,” Miller said.
She said the killer owes it to Chuckie, his family and to himself to come forward.“If he doesn’t ever confess, God help him,” Miller said.
Chuckie was found lying by his bike that Monday night in the shopping center parking lot that was once anchored by a grocery store, bowling alley and restaurant at Burns Drive and Russell Parkway. Chuckie’s home was just around the corner at 206 Burns Drive.
The shopping hub was a popular hangout among young people.
At first it was thought that the teenager had fallen off his bicycle, but a single bullet had entered the back of his head, severed his brain stem and exited through his nose, police said.
“He was dead before he hit the ground,” Enckler said in a 2006 telephone interview with The Telegraph for a story on the 20th anniversary of Chuckie’s death.
Witnesses reported that Chuckie talked with a man in a white car before he was shot about 8:15 p.m. behind Roy and Rose’s Restaurant, a few feet from the intersection of Burns Drive and Russell Parkway.Neither the man nor the white car was located.
“Somebody out there knows something,” Holland said.
Anyone who may have information about the case is asked to contact Holland or sheriff’s investigators Sgt. Ronnie Harlowe or Sgt. Al Elvins at 542-2085, or after hours at 542-2080.
To contact writer Becky Purser, call 923-3109, extension 243.