HP: Man thought to be hit-and-run victim may have been pushed out of car

By Tim Pulliam - email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Investigators first believed an Orangeburg man was hit and killed by a hit-and-run driver, but authorities now believe something worse may have happened.

Rodney Alan Williams, 32, was last seen around 2:00 a.m. on April 24, 2010 at Rick's Party Shop on Bluff Road near Interstate 77. "It's been really difficult trying to imagine and deal with the death of Rodney," said Williams' mother, Annie Williams. "Not knowing what has happened to him has been really devastating."

Investigators found Rodney's body near I-77. The spot is a gut-wrenching reminder of what happened to Williams, and a reminder that there are still more questions than answers. "We are healing as a family," said Williams' sister, Tina Boneparte. "We want to know what happened."

The Highway Patrol initially investigated Williams' death as a hit and run, but now they're not so sure. "The injuries to Rodney himself are not consistent with being struck by a vehicle standing up or while laying down," said Lance Corporal Bryan Ridgeway. "We know that there was some type of impact with the roadway, but it's not consistent with a vehicle."

Ridgeway says the 32-year-old died from a head injury, possibly from being pushed out of a car. His car was not broken down, so investigators say he had no reason to be walking on the ramp.

His mother hopes someone has answers. "They may not know that they know something and if they tell what they do know, it could be helpful," said Williams.

Rodney's mother is hoping she and her family adding additional reward money will eventually fill in the gaps of a mystery about a son she dearly loved. They're offering a $1,000 reward on top of the Crimestoppers reward. If you know anything, call 1-888-CRIME-SC.

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