Mother of murdered teen breaks silence, hoping to catch killer

7:41 AM, Feb 21, 2013   |    comments
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GAINESVILLE, Ga. -- On Wednesday, the mother of a murdered teen broke her silence, hoping to finally learn to the truth about her daughter's death.

Mona Harris says ever since Aug. 23, 2012, the day her 16-year old daughter Hannah Truelove disappeared, her family has suffered.

"I would like to send a message to anyone who may have information about Hannah's death to please come forward and help me end this nightmare," Harris said, fighting back the tears with each word.

Harris spoke at the Hall County Sheriff's Office after the announcement that Governor Nathan Deal had signed an executive order offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in Truelove's death.

Truelove's body was found Aug. 24 near the Lake Lanier Club Apartments in Gainesville, where she lived with Harris.  Investigators say she had been stabbed multiple times, likely betrayed by someone she knew and followed willingly into the woods.

RELATED | Hannah Truelove 'violently killed'

"We can't go back and save Hannah but we can honor her memory and bring closure to her tragic death," Harris said.

Investigators hesitate to call the teen's murder a cold case, but the reality is, nearly six months into the investigation, they're out of leads.

"We're very hopeful that, not just the reward money but the personal appeal from the victim's family will spur someone who knows something," said Hall County Sgt. Stephen Wilbanks.

RELATED | Truelove murder investigation stalled?

On Twitter, Truelove had mentioned a stalker, and in the days before her death even wrote, "I'm so scared right now."   But investigators don't believe they're connected.

"None of those leads were really substantiated," Wilbanks said.

Instead, deputies believe the key is a car -- or at least the passengers in it.  A late 1990's to early 2000 four door Chevy or Dodge, that at the time had substantial front end damage, was seen around the complex the day she disappeared.  It's described as light silver with a lighter colored driver's side door.

"I pray to God almighty you will do this for Hannah, even though you may not have known her.  Please help my family by coming forward with your information, even if that information is about your son or daughter," Harris said.

Anyone with information in Truelove's death is asked to call Hall County investigators at 770-503-3232 or the GBI tip line at 800-597-8477.

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