Daughter pleading for answers in mother's murder

Daughter pleading for answers in mother's murder
Stephanie Thomas is seeking answers in her mother, Brenda Jackson’s murder. (Source: Stephanie Thomas)
Stephanie Thomas is seeking answers in her mother, Brenda Jackson’s murder. (Source: Stephanie Thomas)

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The daughter of a woman found shot to death behind a Midlands church is seeking answers in her mother's murder.

Columbia Police say the body of 52-year-old, Brenda Jackson, was found Tuesday near Koon Road.

Her daughter, Stephanie Thomas, says her mother was a kind woman who got along with everyone in the community. Now, she's hoping that same community will come through for her mother and come forward with any information that may help find her killer.

"An evil person hurt her," Thomas said.

She said she had a bad feeling as soon as she heard a body had been found in a wooded area behind the Rehoboth Restoration Church in Columbia this week.

"We had heard about a woman that had been found over in this area and I know she frequented this area often. I knocked on several doors and people hadn't heard from her or hadn't seen her, which is rare. Everyone always hears from her," Thomas said.

Thomas reached out to the Richland County Coroner who confirmed that the body had been identified as her mother.

"No one wants to find out that their mom was laying in the woods like an animal. I didn't know whether she suffered," Thomas said.

Before Jackson's body was found, police say someone reported seeing her walking in the area nearby the church moments before they heard gunshots. It's a discovery that's been troubling for Jackson's neighbors, too.

"I'm worried about who that person is. Do I know that person? Would they come by? Would I see them? That's very concerning," said Kenneth Blakeley who lived near Jackson and considered her a friend.

Now her daughter is looking for answers, wondering who would do this to a woman loved by everyone she knew.

Thomas says her mother was a kind woman.

"If you needed something and she could do it, she would do it. I can't find one person that could say anything bad about her or had anything against her," Thomas said. "She was kind. She kept to herself. I don't understand. I'm just as lost as everyone else is."

Thomas is now pleading with neighbors and hoping they come forward with any clues that may help find her mother's killer.

"I want people to put themselves in my shoes. What if that was your mom laying out here? And as far as like the community, when you hear a gunshot, I don't care if you hear it often - call the police. Y'all don't know if my mom was out here suffering for days or not. You wouldn't want that to happen to your mom, your daughter, yourself. I wish people would just speak up. Just tell what happened because it could be any one of us, any day," Thomas said.

An autopsy showed that Brenda died from a gunshot wound to the upper body, and the coroner has ruled her death a homicide.

Columbia Police are now investigating. They ask that anyone with information call CRIMESTOPPERS at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

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