MAYS LANDING— It was 35 years ago today, on Thursday, January 14, 1984, that the body of 7 year-old Gary Grant Jr. was found at Atlantic City’s 100 block of North California Avenue in an abandoned lot just two blocks from Gary Grant Jr.’s home. The boy had been missing since January 12, 1984 and was discovered bludgeoned to death.
Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner was 13 years-old at the time of the disappearance and says he remembers Grant Jr.’s disappearance and the discovery of his body like it was yesterday. Tyner and Grant Jr., attended the same school—Our Lady the Star of the Sea. Grant Jr. served as the Manager for the basketball team that Tyner played for and that was coached by the boy’s father, Gary Grant Sr.
“I remember Gary Jr. not being at my basketball practice because he was missing. I remember it like it was yesterday. It was heightened fear at that time at school because a little kid was missing and that kind of thing didn’t just happen,” Prosecutor Tyner said.
Prosecutor Tyner said 35 years later the case still remains active as detectives from the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit continue to work the unsolved murder of Gary Grant Jr.
“There is no such thing as a cold case in Atlantic County because we are working to investigate every unsolved homicide. The unsolved murder of Gary Grant Jr., like any other case is very important to solve to be able to give the family, friends and community closure,” Prosecutor Tyner said.
Prosecutor Tyner encourages anyone with any information in connection to this investigation to come forward and speak with law enforcement.
- On January 12, 1984, 7 year-old Gary Grant Jr. was at home with his mother May Grant and he left his home at approx. 12:00 p.m. and was told by his mother to return home by 4:00 p.m.
- Grant Jr.’s mother became worried when her son failed to return home at 4 p.m., and she began to worry, knowing that being late was uncharacteristic of Grant Jr. She decided to search for him by going to residences of his two friends. They both said there were playing with him, but Gary Jr. left by 4:30 p.m., to head home.
- After searching for more than two hours May called her estranged husband Gary Grant Sr. He immediately took time off his night shift at the Atlantic City Police Department in order to search surrounding areas with other members of law enforcement. The search lasted until 2 a.m., and nobody was able to track Grant Jr.’s whereabouts.
- After learning of the Grant Jr.’s disappearance, a property owner discovered Grant Jr.’s body on Saturday, January 14, 1984, at Atlantic City’s 100 block of North California Avenue in an abandoned lot just two blocks from Gary Grant Jr.’s home.
- Investigation by members of the Atlantic City Police Department, the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office and Atlantic County Medical Examiner’s determined Grant Jr. was bludgeoned to death.
Anyone with information involving serious crimes is asked to call the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office at 609-909-7800 or go to the Prosecutor’s Office Web site at http://www.acpo.org/tips.html and provide information by filling out the form anonymously on the Submit a Tip page. People can also call Crime Stoppers at 609-652-1234 or 1-800-658-8477 (TIPS) or visit the Crime Stoppers Website at http://www.crimestoppersatlantic.com/. Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards for information leading to the arrest and indictment of those who commit crimes in Atlantic County.