Police, grandmother eager to find out if skull belongs to missing Greenwich boy

March 07, 2017 06:08 PM

GREENWICH - Jaliek Rainwalker went missing in November 2007.

His adoptive grandmother, Barbara Reeley, has counted the days.

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"9 years, four months and six days," Reeley said Tuesday.

After hundreds of leads during that time, this might be the one police and Reeley had been waiting for.

A hiker finds part of a skull not far from the Hudson River, off Four Mile Point Road in Coxsackie.

An anthropologist determines the skull to be from a 10 to 13-year old boy.

Jaliek was 12 when he disappeared.

"I certainly feel like this is a high probability that it is Jaliek," Reeley said.

The skull was sent to the state police crime lab.

The hope is that they can extract DNA and compare it to Jaliek's and other missing person cases.

The state DEC says the search turned up an assortment of items including clothing, in the tidal area near where the skull was found. All will be tested for a possible connection.

Chief George Bell of the Cambridge-Greenwich Police Department, has long believed that Jaliek was killed and possibly dumped in the Hudson. 

It wasn't long after the disappearance that Jaliek's adoptive father, Stephen Kerr, was named a person of interest.

But he's denied it.

Leads have brought police to the river before. Not long after the disappearance.

"There was some fishermen along the bike path in Watervliet along the Hudson River that had seen an individual matching our person of interest, throw some bags in the Hudson River."

Bell says If tests show the partial skull belongs to Jaliek, police will have to decide if there's enough evidence for an arrest.

Barbara Reeley was in Coxsackie Tuesday to see the area herself and assist the investigation in any way possible.

She even brought hair from Jaliek's first haircut, in case police need more DNA.

She's hoping the hiker's discovery will end a 9 year ordeal.

"I certainly will feel more easy if it is Jaliek."

Stephen Kerr and his wife moved to Rupert, VT after Jaliek's disappearance. Jeffrey McMorris, their attorney, telling NewsChannel 13 by phone Tuesday afternoon that Kerr and his wife "know he ran away and expect him to come back. That's what they cling to as parents."

Chief Bell says it takes two weeks to figure out if DNA can be extracted from skull parts.



Mark Mulholland

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