National experts to investigate 10-year-old Chattanooga boy's cold case murder
Ten-year-old Josh Walden was killed over 14 years ago. The case has baffled investigators and the community for more than a decade.
Wednesday, January 21st 2015, 6:17 PM EST
Thursday, April 23rd 2015, 4:19 PM EDT
Some of the nation's top experts have agreed to help investigate the cold case murder of a Chattanooga boy. Ten-year-old Josh Walden was killed over 14 years ago. The case has baffled investigators and the community for more than a decade.
Walden was last seen riding his bike around his East Lake neighborhood. He was missing for nearly two days before his body, which was covered in muriatic acid, was discovered in the woods just minutes from his home.
On Wednesday, the DA Office's Cold Case Unit met with experts from several agencies, including the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearm & Explosives and National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Those experts plan to return to Chattanooga to intensively follow leads in the coming months.
"Our goal is to be able to go back and start all over," said Cold Case Unit investigator Mike Mathis, who was on the Walden case from the start.
"Unlike a lot of the homicides that we work, child murders are different," Mathis said.
Right after Walden was killed, Chattanooga Police contacted the FBI to see if there was any other case like it in the country.
That led investigators to believe it was a local killer in the community, who could still be out there.
In the coming months, the DA's Cold Case Unit, who is partnering with the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office and CPD, will zero in on the case alongside experts with the TBI, FBI, ATF and NCMEC.
Channel 3 spoke with Josh's older sister, Crystal, last month.
"There's not a day that I don't wake up and I don't think about my brother," she said tearfully. "I think about him all the time. I wonder who he'd be today."
Since the story aired, investigators began following several new leads. But Mathis said that old leads will be worked again, too, along with new people on the list to interview.
"This thing's 14 years old. And this was a kid," Mathis said.
"His friends have grown up, and maybe they knew something back then that they were scared to tell, or maybe ashamed to tell. But now they're grown. And maybe we never asked them."
Anyone with information about this case can remain completely anonymous by calling the Cold Case Unit Hotline at (423) 209-7470 or Crime Stoppers at (423) 698-3333. E-mails may be sent to