ATLANTA -- Friends and relatives of the latest two victims of Atlanta's child killers gathered for separate funerals today as authorities still sought to determine how one of them died.
Eddie Duncan, 21, a retarded black man whose death police say is part of the 20-month-long string of at least 22 murders, was to be buried following a late morning funeral.
Services for Timothy Hill, 13, a friend of Duncan, were planned at a different church early this afternoon.
Dr. Byron Dawson, assistant director of the state crime laboratory, said Duncan, whose body was discovered Tuesday night in the Chattahoochee River, was killed the day he vanished, but that cause of death was listed as undetermined pending further information.
'Everything I have found is consistent with his having been in the water since he disappeared,' Dawson said, but added, 'I never really said he drowned. I said there was evidence suggesting he might have.'
Duncan was last seen on March 20 in the Techwood Homes public housing area where he lived. His body was found in the river south of Atlanta just two miles from where Hill's body was discovered the day before.
A source close to the investigation revealed Friday that some of the 24 missing and murdered children were known to frequent an abandoned house in the northwest part of Atlanta considered a homosexual rendezvous.
An Atlanta police spokesman, asked Friday if the special task force handling the murders was investigating the house, would only say, 'The FBI is investigating it, to my knowledge.' The FBI declined comment.
There was no indication why police would point to the FBI -- and not the task force, or FBI members of the task force -- as the investigators.
Investigators have long felt the most likely motive in the murders was sexual -- especially in the case of the last four victims, whose bodies have been found clad only in underwear.
The likelihood of homosexual involvement was strong because all but two 22 murdered and two missing children were boys, and there have been reports of prostitution among some of the victims.
Sources also said police were interested in Larry Marshall, a 34-year-old black man arrested in Hartford, Conn., as a source of information in the case -- not as a suspect. Marshall, wanted for a robbery and stabbing in Atlanta last month, reportedly knew Hill.
It was reported that at least one jurisdiction outside Atlanta had sent an officer to Hartford to question Marshall, although the task force said it would wait until he was extradited to talk to him.