SC Missing: Investigators, family look for answers in 4-year-old case

SUMTER COUNTY, SC (WIS) - More than four years ago, 24-year-old Brandon "Peanut" Graves disappeared, but his family and investigators are hopeful even now that someone has answers to what happened to Peanut.

Martha German adopted Graves when he was 3, after his mother died. She raised him at his home north of Dillon. He started his college career at Morris College in Sumter, then transferred to Coastal Carolina, where he graduated in 2010.

Everyone knew him as "Peanut" because of his size – just 5 feet, 4 inches and 150 pounds.

"Everybody admired him," German said. "That big smile everywhere he went. Peanut did something in Dillon, and he did something at Coastal Carolina. There's memories there."

Those memories are now all German has left.

On the night of Jan. 30, 2010, Graves left Myrtle Beach to join friends and fraternity brothers at Morris College in Sumter for homecoming. The group ended up at Sebastian's Night Life.

"It was like a private party for those sorority brothers and sisters," German said.

Surveillance video captured a glimpse of a bouncer pushing Graves away as he tried to go into the club.

The details after that are very few for detectives to go off of.

"We know he tried to get in the club," said Lt. Robert Burnish, of the Sumter County Sheriff's Office. "He was escorted off the property. He didn't get in the car with his friends. His friends were waiting on him. That was the last time they saw him. He was talking to someone in a white car. They expected he left with them and that they would see him later on."

But they didn't. Records show the last call he made from his cell phone was around 3 a.m. Jan. 31, 2010. After that – nothing.

"The friends we've talked to are dumb-founded, so to speak," Burnish said. "They've got questions also."

Graves' mother has no idea what could've happened that night.

"If something happened that night, it would amaze me if somebody attacked him," German said. "Cause things happen, but Peanut being Peanut."

Investigators say Graves had no criminal history, no clear enemies, and there are no suspects in this case. There is no further information about the white vehicle - including its make, model or the possible driver - ever uncovered. Cell phone signals and credit card statements have given investigators little to work with. To date, only one person of interest was identified, but they have since been cleared by investigators.

"It's even more difficult when you have to go to the family and you really can't give them any information, other than we're still looking … we're looking … but we still have nothing," Burnish said.

Graves' mother isn't giving up.

"I'm going to keep the hope alive," she said. "His love is still here. It's still continuing. And I love him unconditionally. Somebody knows something, and I trust God that he will lighten someone's heart."

If anyone has any information on Graves' whereabouts or saw anything the night he went missing, investigators ask that you call 1-888-CRIME-SC.

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