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18 years after he was shot, CMPD still searching for 16-year-old’s killer

CHARLOTTE — Every day, thousands of students get off their buses at the end of the school day.

On Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2005, that routine would become a mystery for 16-year-old North Mecklenburg High School junior Gregory Goodson.

“The best thing I can hope for is that I see him again,” his mother, Kyle Goodson, said. “Heaven couldn’t wait another day for him.”

Goodson spoke to Channel 9′s Glenn Counts about the efforts to bring him justice.

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“People don’t know my son is dead,” she said. “I remember going to church one day and it was a minister there who said, ‘never look like what you’ve been through.’ So I never walk around glum and upset, but I cry when nobody sees.”

The last place Gregory was seen was on his school bus. His mother, a retired teacher, remembers her last conversation with him at his bus stop that morning.

“And so I called him over to the car and I said ‘I love you Gregory, do you want me to pick you up from school today or from work today?’ and he said ‘no mom, I’m alright, somebody else is going to pick me up, I promise I’ll be alright. And that was a promise he couldn’t keep,” she said.

“Kids are supposed to grow up, you know? They’re supposed to get to be kids,” said Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Lt. Bryan Crum.

Lt. Crum is the supervisor for CMPD’s cold case unit.

“Greg’s case has been tough, it’s a case we’ve poured a lot of resources into,” he said.

On the evening of Sept. 27, Greg’s mother expected him to return home from work late that evening. The following morning, she went to wake him for school.

“So I walked down to his bedroom and opened the door and his bed was just not slept in,” Kyle Goodson said.

She called her parents and asked if Greg was there. When they told her no, she called the police.

Officers searched for Gregory for several days but got a break, thanks to some four-wheelers.

“They’re out riding four-wheelers -- 485 is still being built at that point, so there are a lot of good places to take your four-wheeler out -- and they ended up coming upon the body of a teenager,” Crum said.

“The look on their faces told me that it was just grim,” Kyle said. “And I knew then that Gregory was gone. And then they told us the DNA sample matched him -- and it was awful.”

Goodson’s body was found in a wooded area off Simpson Road. A few days after that, police found his backpack. A few months after that, they found his shoes.

But after police made those discoveries, the trail turned cold and has remained that way for 18 years.

“You find a lead and it seems really promising and everybody gets excited and you kind of feel a buzz in the room, ‘OK, this is the break that is going to break this case,’ and sometimes it is,” Crum said. “And it’s really disappointing when it’s not, and there been some of those ups and downs over the years with Greg’s case.”

“Gregory was shot to death,” Kyle said. “When I think about a bullet, it’s probably so much heat. How much was he in pain? As a mother, you think about those things.”

Police hope that someone will come forward and bring justice to Greg’s family.

“We need people to step up and share everything that they know, no matter how insignificant, because it could be that one little piece that gets the case moving again,” Crum said.

Kyle Goodson wonders about the man her son would have become. She said he was an excellent student who worked two fast food jobs and wanted to attend Georgetown and study computer science.

“My only child, my universe was just gone,” she said. “And it was horrible, it was just the worst thing in the world for any mother.”

If you have any information about the case, you are asked to call crimestoppers at 704-336-1400.

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