Nearly 60 homicides in Vermont remain unsolved, according to police. And behind each one of those cases, is a family still searching for closure. WCAX spoke exclusively with a Vermont mom about her son's cold case.
It has been more than five years since the body of 18-year-old Nathan Currie turned up in West Charleston. Yet no one has been charged with his death, leaving his family in limbo.
But Vermont lawmakers say there is a new effort in Montpelier to crack these kinds of unsolved mysteries.
"This is him as a little boy," Kathy Currie said as she points to a picture of her son.
Kathy says she always wanted to see that little boy grow up. Nathan Currie was the youngest of her three sons. Basketball, soccer -- you name it, she says he excelled at it.
But on July 23, 2006, just after Nathan's 18th birthday, the West Charleston teen disappeared. Kathy still vividly remembers one of the last times she saw her son.
"I remember I gave him a great big hug and I said 'I love you Nathan,' and he said, 'I love you more.' And that's the part I'll never forget," said Kathy.
Nathan's car was found in a local cemetery-- keys in the ignition, license plate removed. For two and a half years police, friends and family searched for him. On Thanksgiving 2008 there was a grim break in the case. Nathan's skeletal remains were found less than a mile from his home.
"When you think about what a great kid he was, that's what makes it hard. He didn't deserve this. He had a good life," Kathy said.
Kathy says her son started hanging with the wrong crowd in high school-- guys twice his age and known drug-users. She believes Nathan was murdered. But as time passed his case went cold. And now, more than seven years after his disappearance, his family has few answers.
"And it's awful. It's awful-- it's there every single day. And you just want justice to be served. Justice needs to be served," Kathy said.
Now a new bill in Montpelier could change that. The proposal is aimed at cracking cases like Nathan's by devoting a Vermont State trooper to be a full time cold case investigator.
"I would just like to see some closure for these families and I think that they deserve to have somebody looking out and trying to find out what happened," said Rep. Patti Lewis, R-Berlin.
Lewis says she introduced the bill unsure of how it would be received. So far, it's been strongly supported and backed by police.
"We certainly support the idea of having an investigator dedicated to working cold cases. We have a number of unsolved homicides and missing person cases," said Maj. Glenn Hall of the Vermont State Police.
Hall says there are at least 57 unsolved homicides across the state, not including several missing persons cases. Currently, Vermont does not have a cold case investigator; instead, they're assigned to detectives.
"Unfortunately those detectives carry a heavy case load with current cases, so they are only able to work on cold cases when they have time," said Hall.
Hall says this added position would lighten the load. And for Kathy, it renews her hope that one day her son's killer will be found.
"So I'll be happy to see justice in the end. No matter how long it takes. But it's time. It's definitely time," said Kathy through tears.
Hall say the only foreseeable snag is who will pay for the new position.
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