Updated 03/13/2013 09:23 AM
Police say they are close to making an arrest in connection to disappearance of Jaliek Rainwalker
Three months ago, long after Jaliek Rainwalker disappeared, State Police released their first significant development in the case in quite some time. That day, they referred to the case as a homicide. Now, they tell our Matt Hunter exclusively they are close to an arrest.
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WASHINGTON COUNTY, N.Y. – Last December, shortly after the five-year anniversary of his disappearance, local law enforcement officially reclassified the Jaliek Rainwalker case as a "probable child homicide." Today, that investigation continues, still with no sign of the boy's remains.
"We stand by what we said,” Cambridge-Greenwich Police Chief George Bell said Tuesday. “We classified it as a child homicide case. We stand by that today. Nothing has changed."
With the help of state and national authorities, Bell says his department has investigated more than 500 leads since the 12-year-old disappeared in fall 2007.
While they first reported him missing, Bell says Jaliek's adoptive parents, Stephen and Jocelyn Kerr, have refused to cooperate with the investigation.
"They should be concerned enough to be sitting with law enforcement on a daily basis, weekly basis, whatever it takes to get updates," Bell said.
While no official suspect has ever been labeled, the Kerrs have long been viewed as "persons of interest." While that designation has not been changed, Bell says he's now confident an arrest will be made in the weeks ahead.
"Certainly, I would like to find Jaliek and bring some resolution to this case,” Bell said. “But I feel confident enough at some point that here soon that there will be an arrest made."
When asked if he believed Stephen Kerr would ultimately be the person arrested, Bell responded, "I'm not going comment on who it is, but I just feel there will be an arrest made in reference to this case."
In a phone interview Wednesday morning, the Kerrs' attorney, Jeffrey McMorris said, "We firmly believe Jaliek is coming home some day, so I'd be hard pressed to understand what they'd [Kerrs] be arrested for."
McMorris stated that prior to December's press conference announcing the reclassification of the case, he was working to arrange a meeting between his clients and law enforcement, however, he added there are currently no plans to do so.