Every state has its unsolved mysteries and South Carolina, unfortunately, is not without its own. No one wants to think that there is evil that walks among us; an evil that stalks the dark and steals the light. We must not forget the ones that have left us mysteriously. Somewhere out there is someone who knows something about each one of these mysteries and it is up to us to not let them grow cold.
1. Malakia Logan, Greenwood, SC
It happened May 15, 1988, somewhere between the small park that was just 300 yards away from the apartment complex and her door. She never came home with her sister. They had been playing basketball together when Malakia decided to go home. Malakia's bike was found near the apartment office. There were witnesses that say they saw a white male whose face was pockmarked driving an older model, dark, Monte Carlo, but none of them ever saw Malakia with him or any other suspicious activity. In 1990, sadly, her remains were found by a deer hunter.
Charles Wade Hampton were eventually charged with Malakia's murder, but the mystery remains unsolved. The charges against Hampton was dropped due to lack of evidence.
2. Lori Reaves Richardson, Charleston/Columbia, SC
The mid 1980's was the last contact Lori had with her family. Unfortunately, this didn't seem remiss and then in 2007, her mother passed away and that is where the story begins. Lori's sister, Debbie, tried to contact her regarding her mother's death, but couldn't find her. She then contacted Lori's daughter and found that she hadn't heard from Lori since 1992. Research revealed that Lori had married Nathaniel Richardson in February of 1994 and that is where the trail grows cold. It just stops as if she evaporated into the hot southern air of South Carolina. Nothing more is known...
3. Jeremy Grice, North Augusta, SC
On a cold and rainy Thursday morning Jeremy Grice mysteriously vanished from his North Augusta home. Earlier that morning, his mother had checked on him before leaving for work. She said that she didn't actually see him, but his bedcovers were pulled up so she assumed that he was asleep. His stepfather was watching him in her absence. He reported him missing at 10 a.m. that morning. It is reported that a neighbor saw him standing outside by the road with his bicycle as if he were waiting on the bus, but he didn't have school that day. There at that mailbox is the last place Jeremy was seen.
Since that time two ponds have been drained, searches have been conducted, and a serial killer (who would have been a teenager at that time) has been interviewed all to no avail. What happened to little Jeremy? I'm not the first to ask that question and so many more than me want to know the answer.
4. Superbike Motorsports Murders, Chesnee, SC
On November 6, 2003, in the early afternoon an unknown person entered Superbike Motorsports and executed the four employees that were present: Brian Lucas, Scott Ponder, his mother, Beverly Guy, and Chris Sherbert. The only lead they have is a drawing of the suspect and few feature characteristics which include a tall height, weight of around 200 pounds, and dark hair that was feathered around the face. No one has yet been caught.
5. Sherwin Gittens, Daniel Island, SC
In an idling SUV, Sherwin Gittens was found dead by police. It was early morning, October 2001 on Interstate 526. He had been handcuffed, bound with duct tape, and shot in the head. There is nothing left to tell about this case unfortunately. His mother, who lives in New York, hasn't heard anything about the case for a long time. There are just no leads or evidence to go on even though the police push every avenue they come across.
6. Mystery Couple, Sumter, SC
It was August 9, 1976, on a deserted road in Sumter County, SC, when a trucker happened upon the scene of the murders. A man and a woman (who have come to be known by Jacques and Jane) were shot three times each. There was no identification on them, but it was surmised they were traveling or 'backpacking'. Few details have been gleaned from interviews. One man who had met the couple stated that the man, Jacques, had told him that his father was a physician in Canada. Who was the man who found them? And, if his father was a physician in Canada, wouldn't he have been looking for them? As the years pass, the mystery just intensifies. Will they ever find out what happened and who these two young people were?
7. Jessica Gutierrez, Lexington, SC
Jessica, a pretty little girl with brown hair and sparkling brown eyes went to bed on June 5, 1986, along with her two sisters. Sometime in the middle of the night, a man stole her from the bedroom without waking her. When it was discovered by her parents that she was gone there was no trace to follow. When her sisters were questioned, only the 6-year-old stated that a man with a 'magic' hat came and took Jessica away.
8. Dail Dinwiddie, Columbia, SC
On September 23, 1992, Dail Dinwiddie vanished into the night as she was walking along Harden Street in Columbia, SC. Earlier that night, she and a few of her friends had attended a U2 concert and afterwards went to a nightclub, then known as Jungle Jim's. It is known that her friends lost track of her in the crowd so they assumed that she had a ride home and left. A bouncer remembers talking to her around 1:30 a.m. before she walked out of the club. At the time of her disappearance, Reinaldo Javier "Ray" Rivera, now a convicted serial killer, was attending the University of South Carolina. However, no evidence has been found to link him to Dail's case and interviews with him have been sadly uninformative.
9. Blue Ridge Savings Murders, Greer, SC
Sylvia Holtzclaw was running the bank alone on Friday, May 16, 2003, in Greer, SC. James and Margaret Barnes walked into the bank together just after 1 p.m. and at 1:30 p.m. the panic button had been pushed. No one knows what really happened in that short span of time. When the police finally arrived they found all three of the victims in a utility room in the back of the bank. They had been shot. From video footage they have been able to piece together that the car was a red Oldsmobile Alero made between 1999 and 2003. It seems that there may be been two suspects who were trying to rob the bank. To this day, the case remains open and unsolved.
All of these cases are still open and being investigated when or if leads become available. I have to ask that if you or someone you know knows anything about any one of these cases, please contact your local police department as soon as possible. You never know if that tiny piece of information could flesh out the full puzzle.
Sadly, South Carolina and other states in the United States have hundreds, if not thousands, of unsolved cases. It is what life is made of. You can not have a good without a bad. It is the yin and yang; balance in all things. I know that we don’t want to think about such things happening in our own backyard, but we must. Sadly, if we forget then so do others and no one should be forgotten.