FBI and Tenn. DA Reopen Cold Case Murder of 10-Year-Old After 20 Years


The District Attorney’s Office of Hamilton County, Tennessee, along with the FBI, is reopening a cold case investigation surrounding the gruesome murder of a 10-year-old boy that occurred in 2000.

The cold case unit of the Hamilton County District Attorney’s office is hoping it can solve the murder of a ten-year-old East Lake boy that it has been trying to solve for twenty years.

Hamilton County encompasses a large area, as it is the fourth-most populace county in Tennessee, with its seat in Chattanooga. As such, it has previously reached out to both the public and the FBI in hopes of solving this cold case.

In 2004, investigators previously reached out to the public for help after the FBI offered a possible profile, suggesting that local law enforcement most likely had already had made contact with the offender during the course of the then-four-year investigation.

Twenty years have passed and the perpetrator has yet to be found, prompting local and FBI investigators to redouble their efforts to find the killer.

20 years ago: a 10-year-old boy disappears

On Friday, December 8, 2000, Joshua Walden 10-year-old was last seen riding off on his bicycle.

The next day, Saturday, December 9, 2000, when Joshua didn’t return, his sister, Crystal Walden, who was 17 at the time, called the police to report that her brother was missing. The boy was never seen alive again.

The family was joined by friends and neighbors, as well as the police, and searching the neighborhood. That evening, the family searched for him all night.

A gruesome discovery

The next day, Sunday, December 10, 2000, Joshua’s brother spotted a bare foot poking out from a pile of leaves at East Lake Park, which is located about a half-mile from his home.

As the brother searched further, he found his sibling’s body. Joshua had scratches and marks on the right side of his face and nose.

When authorities came to investigate the deceased body of Joshua Walden, they made a gruesome discovery. Whoever had killed Joshua had poured muriatic acid on the body.

Investigators came up empty when looking for additional clues. Joshua was barefoot and his shoes were never found. The family pointed out that Joshua liked his shoes so much that they had trouble getting him to take them off – even at night.

Authorities also failed to locate his bicycle.

County DA and FBI seek public’s help

Once again, the cold case unit of the District Attorney’s Office in Hamilton County and the FBI are reaching out to the public hoping that someone knows something that could help.

A team of FBI agents is helping the County, and they have started the process by producing a series of videos they hope will help in solving the case.

Authorities are urging anyone who has information that might help in this case to call the Hamilton County DA’s Cold Case Unit at 423-209-7470 or to send an email to coldcases@hcdatn.org.