Teresa Black: Where is William DaShawn Hamilton’s Mom Now?

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In 1999, the remains of a young boy were found in Georgia, but the identity of the body remained a mystery for more than two long decades. The perplexing yet tragic case is covered in detail in the episode titled ‘The Boy in the Woods’ of A&E’s ‘Killer Cases.’ Apart from delving into the investigation that spanned more than 20 years, the episode also features exclusive interviews with the loved ones of the victim and how social media led the investigators to uncover new clues about the case.

Teresa Black Concealed the Death of Her Son

Born in 1977, Teresa Ann Bailey Black was involved in a couple of relationships, first with William Harris Hamilton and the second with Laquese Black. One thing led to another, and Teresa and William gave birth to a son and named him William DaShawn Hamilton. After she and William decided to call their relationship quits, she went on to date Laquese and tied the knot with him. In order to support her family, she reportedly worked at Pleasers, a club in Atlanta on Cleveland Avenue. It was also reported that she had been getting help from the Atlanta Day Shelter for Women and Children.

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According to her best friend Ava McNeil, Teresa seemed detached and unloving toward William. Then, in December 1998, she removed her son from school in Charlotte, North Carolina, as they relocated to Metro Atlanta. Despite dating and marrying her for so long, Laquese allegedly never got to meet her son. She claimed that he had been staying with relatives in Atlanta. As per Laquese, she even staged a fake call with someone who was portrayed as William to make her husband believe that he was talking to her son. On the other hand, even William’s father did not get a chance to spend time with him.

Just a few months after Teresa and her small family moved to Atlanta, on February 26, 1999, a young boy’s remains were discovered by a cemetery worker in a wooded area near a small church cemetery on Clifton Springs Road in south DeKalb County, Georgia. As investigators inspected the body and the surrounding areas, they concluded that it was placed there carefully nearly three to six months before it was found. At the time, the detectives failed to determine the cause of death as there was no sign of foul play.

For more than two decades, the identity of the found victim remained a mystery until an artist drew an age-progression portrait of the boy. In 2019, the portrait was released to the public by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Soon, a woman named Eva was able to recognize the boy’s sketch and identified him as 6-year-old William DaShawn Hamilton. Following the identification, the detectives began testing and investigating William’s identity.

On July 13, 2022, Teresa was arrested in Phoenix, Boston, for the murder of her son and charged with two counts of felony murder, two counts of first-degree cruelty to children, one count of aggravated assault, and one count of concealing the death of another in connection. New clues emerged after the indictment as it was alleged that Teresa gave William “a substance or substances containing Diphenhydramine and Acetaminophen” and stuck him in the head with an unknown object. After that, she decided not to provide him with medical attention, which led to his untimely demise. Neither she nor anybody else reported the victim missing, causing his body to remain unidentified for more than two decades.

Teresa Black is Incarcerated in a Georgia Prison Awaiting Her Release Date

In December 2023, Teresa Black’s trial for the murder of her own son commenced. While the prosecution painted a bad picture of the suspect in front of the jury by alleging that she had a significant role in the murder of her son, the defense portrayed her as a struggling mother who did all that she could to save her child from becoming a victim to an accident. On January 10, 2024, the jury returned with a not-guilty verdict for five out of six counts against Teresa, including murder, aggravated assault, and cruelty to children. They only found her guilty of concealing the death of her son.

A couple of days later, on January 12, 2024, on the day of her sentencing, several witnesses were given the opportunity to give statements in front of the court. William Hamilton, William’s father, took the stand and demanded that the court give her the maximum sentence. He stated, “I never got to play with or do none of these things like what a father is supposed to do with a child. She told me he was living down here all these years. I’m thinking like he hates my guts or something because he would never call me or nothing.”

Teresa Black received the maximum sentence for the one count that she was convicted of — a decade behind bars but with credit for the 549 days she had already served in prison for the crime. As of now, William’s mother is serving her 10-year sentence at the Emanuel Women’s Facility in Swainsboro, Georgia. According to reports, her maximum possible release date is set on July 12, 2032, exactly 10 years to the day she got arrested.

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