UPDATE| Mother of murdered Thomson teen opens up about the loss of her son

Published: May. 14, 2018 at 3:56 PM EDT
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Thursday, June 7, 2018

News 12 @ 6 O'clock / NBC 26 at 7

THOMSON, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Moneck Gaines sends her a son an “I love you” text almost every day.

Sitting under a tree, holding her phone, she reads aloud the words she sends to Daekwon, "Hey, son mommy just wants you to know I love you."

She keeps writing I love you and pressing send knowing there'll be no reply.

From another message to her son she writes, “The pain still runs deep knowing I will never get another text from you."

The messages stopped over Mother’s Day weekend.

She thought her son was missing, but after days of searching, Moneck said a family member found him lifeless, shot in the woods in Thomson.

"The world that we live in is just cruel. It lets you know that there are evil people among us." Moneck goes on to describe how difficult each day is, but understands what she has to do, “I realize I have to push myself and I have to live to see justice be served for my son."

Part of that is setting the record straight about who he was.

"He was not a gang member. He was a child.”

"Don't look at him as another black child just got into something. No, this is someone’s child, brother, grandchild. Regardless of what the situation was, you didn't have the right to take his life.”

Moneck says Daekwon moved to live with his grandmother in Thomson two years before.

“I didn't want him to get caught up in things here in Richmond County.”

He’d enrolled in youth challenge and gotten a job.

"He was on the right path.”

"I used to always tell Daekwon 'watch the company that you keep, baby'."

"You're going to get into something that mama can't get you out of and, Ms. Kelly, I couldn't get him out", Moneck struggles to fight back her tears and goes on to say, "I couldn't save him and I know my baby was scared and terrified.”

A GBI Investigator tells News 12 they are still conducting interviews and following up on new leads that have come up.

At this time they would not specify if they had any suspects in custody.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

THOMSON, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Investigators say a shooting at Thomson Villas earlier this month could be tied to the shooting death of 17-year-old Daekwon Hines.

On May 6th, a 14-year-old boy was shot in the leg at Thomson Villas Apartments. That's also where Daekwon lived.

A suspect, 19-year-old Cortorius Collins, was arrested on May 8th. Friends and family of Daekwon Hines say he was good friends with the boy who was shot that day.

Now, investigators believe the other people involved in that first shooting might be in some way responsible for Daekwon's death.

News 12 will continue to look into this investigation. Check back for the latest updates in the case.

Monday, May 14, 2018

(News 12 at 11)

THOMSON, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- The body of a missing 17-year-old was found in Thomson Monday afternoon after family and friends went searching for him.

Thomson Police and the GBI are waiting on autopsy results to confirm the body is, in fact, 17-year-old Daekwon Hines. However, family members tell us they have seen the body, and it is Daekwon.

This all happened on Dell Drive in Thomson behind some duplexes in a wooded area. That's right off Augusta Highway, about a mile from the Mcduffie County Sheriff's Office.

The police chief tells us this case is connected to another shooting that happened a week ago where a 14-year-old was shot in the leg at Thomson Villas Apartments. Family members tell us the 14-year-old and Hines were best friends.

Family and friends are heartbroken. They say they believe this could be gang related, and the way they found his body makes them even more sure.

Spencer Moore lives within steps of where he and family members found the body. "A black bag was over his head. Ablack plastic bag over his head," Moore said. "They shot him in the head."

He was killed execution style.

"From what I saw, the body laying on the ground, yeah that's Dae Dae," Moore said. Moore says he's called him by that nickname for years. He says he knew him since he was a baby. Moore's home is now surrounded by yellow tape, marking the crime scene. "We went through the woods behind my house, where I stay at and there he was right there, behind my house," Moore said.

Family say his mom couldn't bare to look at his face, but she knew by his pants that was her son. "She just lost her 16-year-old baby," Moore said. "You can only fathom what's going through her mind."

Moore doesn't know why someone would hurt Daekwon.

"I loved him," Moore said. "I knew his mom, I knew his dad, everybody. Everybody loved him. I don't know why somebody would want to hurt him. The officer asked me, how often do I hear shots? You know, I live in a neighborhood where shots, hearing shots, is normal."

Both Moore and neighbors say they heard gunshots on Saturday. Moore also says he saw car headlights pull into his driveway in the middle of the night.

"It was a young girl driving the car it was white," Moore said. He says he approached her and asked why she was on his property. Then, he says he saw someone coming out from behind his home.

"While me and her were having this conversation this young dude rolls up out the woods," Moore said. "I was like, 'what the f*** are you doing back there?' He was like, 'no I just left something in the back there. Everything good.'" Moore says they then took off. He says he's never seen them before.

"Why would somebody harm that young man? He's a bright. He doesn't mess with nobody or nothing," Moore said. "He has a loving family that loves him. You know, the world is so wicked these days."

GBI has suspects in mind but are holding off on releasing any details. We'll keep you updated on this developing story.

Monday, May 14, 2018

6:00 p.m.

THOMSON, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Family members at the scene have confirmed the body was that of missing teen Daekwon Hines.

We have a crew on the scene. Stay with us for the latest details.

THOMSON, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- A body has been found in a wooded area in Thomson.

The Thomson Police Department says the body was found on the 500 block of Dell Drive Monday afternoon.

We're told the body was found in a wooded area behind a home.

Details are limited. Check back for the latest details in this developing story.

Friday, May 11, 2018

THOMSON, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- The Thomson Police Department is searching for 17-year-old Daekwon Hines.

Hines was reported missing by his grandmother at 4:00 p.m. Friday.

He was last seen at 2:00 a.m. in the Thomson area.

Hines is approximately 5"4 and weighs 120 lbs. He was last seen wearing a black T-shirt with the letters "KFC" written in green and blue jeans with holes in them.

If anyone has any information please contact the McDuffie County Communication Center at 706-595-2145.

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