On February 17, 1986, 13-year-old Chuckie Mauk was shot in the back of the head after walking out of a Georgia convenience store to buy bubble gum. It’s a case that Nancy Grace holds dear to her heart and she’s determined to find justice for the young boy.
“I’m going to hold onto this case as long as we have to,” Grace said. “I will forever have him in my mind.”
In a special episode of “Crime Stories,” airing Tuesday on Fox Nation and Sirius XM, Grace brought in a team of experts to discuss the case, along with Chuckie’s mother, and his childhood friends who remember the day they learned the boy was shot dead.
The case has still not been solved. Authorities with the Houston County Sheriff’s Office say that witnesses saw a male in a white car speed away from a parking lot at a bowling alley off of Burns Drive in Warner Robins. Chuckie was left sprawled out on the pavement, dead with a pack of bubble gum in his hand.
“I could see him where he was laying. It was a close-up shot,” mother Cathy Miller explained. “When they [first responders] rolled him over, they saw where the bullet had exited his face.”
Chuckie’s friend, Chris Panaczek, told Grace that he was at a stoplight in a car with this sister, several feet away from Chuckie when tragedy struck. Just a child himself, Chris lifted himself up from the passenger seat and looked back after spotting Chuckie talking to a man in a white, two-door sedan.
“Chuckie was talking to a white gentleman in a white car…Chuckie had his arms folded and he was talking to this guy and I just seen hand gestures. Chuckie was laughing and talking with this guy…I kept looking back…Chuckie had picked the front tire on his bike up to turn away from this guy. If we hadn’t had the radio up so loud, we would have heard the shot.”
Authorities worked meticulously to interview every person in the area who owned or drove a white sedan. Not even one suspect has yet been found.
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“I remember an emblem being on a fender behind the front tire of that car,” Panaczek added. “That’s why I say it’s like a Buick Regal because it’s like a knight symbol, like a crest that they have over in England … and it’s red, white and blue.”
The area where a killer shot and killed Chuckie Mauk. [Photo via Chris Panaczek]Chuckie had no known enemies. He loved playing PacMan, “jumping ramps” on his bike, swimming, skateboarding, and playing baseball for the Little League baseball team, the Redlegs. Friends said he was popular and loved.
Chuckie’s girlfriend and “best friend’ at the time, Chanda Burch, said her life was forever changed when Chuckie died. As a child herself, she didn’t understand how to process the tragedy. She struggled for years to put the pieces together.
“When you’re 12 years old, you don’t really know how to handle, you know, something so huge like that,” Burch explained. “It makes you not trust people and makes you feel hopeless because this is still going on and there are no answers.”
Childhood friend Jason Cranford is determined to find answers. He’s offering a $100,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the case.
According to Panaczek, the suspect appeared to be in his 20s, with reddish-brown hair, pale skin, and acne. He was wearing an open-collar shirt.
Anyone with any information is urged to contact the tip line at 404-325-4646.
[Feature Photo: Chuckie Mauk/Handout]