Deputies release sketch of suspect in Whitmire home invasion

Police sketch of the suspect (Source: Newberry County Sheriff's Department)
Police sketch of the suspect (Source: Newberry County Sheriff's Department)

By Brandi Cummings - bio | email

WHITMIRE, SC (WIS) - A peaceful night turned into violence when four armed men stormed into a home in Whitmire. The residents were robbed of more than their possessions -- they also lost their sense of security.

"It makes me scared to death to stay in my own home," said Becky Ellison.

Ellison will never forget the morning she says four men burst into her home.

"Two of them were armed," said Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster. "Three of them had their faces covered with a ski-type mask or bandana. The fourth suspect did not have his face covered."

Police later released a sketch of that man.
Donald Price and his girlfriend were at Ellison's Whitmire home visiting around 12:45am Wednesday, when they got visitors.

"I heard somebody knocking," recounted Ellison. "I said 'who is it?'"

"I said 'don't go to the door because they're not telling us who it is,'" continued Price.

Ellison says she heard mumbling and thought it was her God-son, but it was someone else. She said she opened the door, and the men forced their way in and made demands.

"'This is a robbery," Ellison recalled the men saying. "'Give me your money.'"

Some ransacked the home, while another searched their pockets. Price says he sat still in disbelief. "You save unemployment to try to buy your grandkids Christmas presents, they put a gun in my face and threaten to kill me," he said.

Deputies say the men took off with $60, a laptop and a lockbox that contained the deed to Ellison's home.
Working with SLED to create the police sketch is just one of the many ways Foster says he will work to solve this crime. "We're going to pull out all the stops," he said. "When you violate somebody's home, especially when you violently enter that's one of the worst kind of crimes in this state."

"I think it's crazy," said Ellison.

Since the faces of the other three men were covered, deputies have not yet identified them. If you can help solve this crime, call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

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