“It’s almost been 10 years since 17-year-old Blake Chappell disappeared after the East Coweta High School homecoming dance, just to be discovered dead months later. The still-unsolved case proceeds to frustrate investigators. According to his friends and family, Chappell was the sort of kid who was friends.
Blake Was A Funny Guy
He was very happy. Max Gibbs, a childhood friend of Blake’s, said of him, “He was one of the funniest people I knew.” “Even if you were feeling terrible, he could make you laugh. “He was never more than a step or two away,” Gibbs remarked. Blake’s mom, Melissa Becker, is also very sentimental about her son’s childhood. She said, “He always saw the best in people.” His passion was for helping others. His relationships with his friends meant the world to him. “I doubt he ever met an enemy in his life.”
According to Becker, this is just one of many reasons she cannot believe her son was murdered. She claimed to vividly recall the evening of October 15th, 2011. With a bright expression on her face, she waved her infant off to homecoming. Blake was slated to stay the night at Austin’s place. Blake, as planned, called from Austin’s after the dance. He called and told her, “mom, I had so much fun, it was the best day of my life, I got to hang out with my friends and dance,” a conversation Becker vividly recalled. What happened after that phone call, however, remains a mystery. Someone spotted Blake on his way to visit his girlfriend. And then, not long after, he walked back to his pal’s house.
But Blake never made it
“Around 11 a.m. the friend that he stayed the night with calls me and says Blake’s missing, and I couldn’t understand,” Becker recalled. “I’m like, ‘what do you mean Blake’s missing? He stayed the night at your home.’ Well, he went to his girlfriend’s and he never came back.”
We looked for two exhausting months. Gibbs’ voice cracked as he recalled that day: “We didn’t know where he was.” The names we gave him eventually stuck. And there was no way to contact anyone. To all appearances, Blake had vanished. “It’s like he dropped off the face of the earth,” Becker remarked.
Two months after Becker reported her son missing, in December 2011, she received the phone call she had feared. They found her son’s body in a creek in East Newnan, close to where she lived in Summer Grove. The gunshot wound had stripped him down to his underwear. The words “it’s inexpressible” came out of Becker’s mouth choking back his sobs. Every day, be transported back to that moment. That one day, everything I knew and loved came to an end for me. And I was in such shock from fear that I refused to accept it. It’s highly unlikely that it’s him. To this day, I keep expecting him to come down that driveway.
The Newnan Police Department has kept the majority of the details of the case under wraps. The police refused to confirm to 11Alive what forensic evidence, if any, had been gathered at the scene and instead disputed 11Alive’s request for the medical report.
Lieutenant Chris Robinson, who took over the case for the Newnan PD in 2019, said, “As suspects are developed, a lot of elements would only be known by those people, so we can’t release too much.” Robinson did provide evidence suggesting that the investigation led them to conclude that Blake’s death was the result of a homicide. However, no one has been arrested in the nearly decade since the crime was committed.
Everything we’ve gotten up to this point has been thoroughly checked out, he said. It’s almost impossible to make progress at the moment without help from the community and advice from those who are ahead of the curve. No one ever found Blake’s clothes, wallet, or phone.
It’s not uncommon for Becker to speculate that he was kidnapped. The police have stated that they are unable to confirm whether or not he was murdered on the night he disappeared, or whether or not his body was dumped in the creek at a later date. How long he was in the creek is unknown to Lt. Robinson. The passage of time between his disappearance and his discovery complicated the collection of physical evidence.
Becker stated that she had repeatedly requested that police triangulate her son’s phone from the time he went missing. Once Blake had left his girlfriend’s house for the night, he sent her a text informing her that he had been pulled over by police and was being questioned about his whereabouts. Becker asked whether or not triangulation had been used to locate the man’s cellphone. I want to know if they checked the GPS of every police car that could have texted him.
Savannah Levins of 11Alive took those concerns to Newnan police. Lt. Robinson reported that some phone records had been retrieved. We couldn’t say for sure that we triangulated the location using phone records. However, there’s a lot of room for interpretation there.
He also said they were never able to substantiate whether any of their officers saw or stopped Blake that night. “We’re still sort of hazy as to what that interaction was,” he said. “But it didn’t seem that our agency had contact with him.”
The investigation has not led to any conclusions about who might have done this. They are, however, counting on the fact that anyone with information will volunteer it.
A clue may be out there,” Robinson speculated. We need you to come to us with this data. This is a problem that we intend to address.
More questions and calls for redress have been made in the nearly ten years since.
Becker sobbed, “I’ve had to forgive this imaginary person, and I’ve had to accept the fact that I may never find out who did this to him.”
A simple question: “Why?” Let us have a little quiet time, please. He was just a kid, nobody to worry about. Nothing he did was wrong.
There is a $20,000 prize for data leading to an arrest in Blake’s case. Callers can leave tips for the Newnan Police at (770) 254-2355 or Crimestoppers of Greater Atlanta. Those who give tips can remain anonymous.”