Police actively investigating new tip 28 years after Dail Dinwiddie’s disappearance

Updated: Sep. 24, 2020 at 9:17 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - It’s the oldest missing persons case in Columbia.

Twenty-eight years ago today, on September 24, 1992, 23-year-old Dail Dinwiddie disappeared from Five Points after attending a U2 concert.

Thursday, Richland County Sheriff’s Department told WIS they are currently working a new tip in the case.

“Let’s just say there’s a very active investigation going on,” explained Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott.

Lott has been dedicated to finding Dail since he was elected in 1996.

“The Dinwiddies have never given up and we haven’t either,” he said. “I made a promise to them 28 years ago when I was elected sheriff that as long as I was sheriff we would continue to work on this case and follow every lead.”

In almost three decades, sitting down to talk about Dail hasn’t gotten any easier for her parents, Dan and Jean Dinwiddie.

“I think about it every day in some way, but we’re not obsessed with it. It’s always there though,” explained Dan.

Authorities are continuing to investigate the disappearance of Dail Dinwiddie.
Authorities are continuing to investigate the disappearance of Dail Dinwiddie.((Source: WIS))

Since the night of Dail’s disappearance, the search for the Columbia native has spanned thousands of miles, and police have reviewed more than 1,000 tips. Detective Kevin Isenhoward has been by the family’s side, filling them in on every new lead.

“If you could imagine the rollercoaster ride that their emotions have been on for this entire time. Every time they get a call like that, every time they get a tip, they go through it again, and they reach out. They get their hopes up,” said Isenhoward.

In 2012, an artist with the State Law Enforcement Division created an age progression photo of Dail, when she would have been 43 years old. Now, Dail would be 51-years-old.

“To us, Dail will always look like she’s 23 years old. That’s our memory of her,” said Jean. “It’s always reassuring to us to know that our church, our family, our friends, Dail’s friends always keep us in their prayers and in their hopes.”

College photos of the bright and loving art history grad still remain throughout the Dinwiddies' home. Her parents think about memories they should have been able to experience.

“We don’t have any of Dail’s children, grandchildren,” Dan said. “We were not allowed to see her become a mature young woman who could function in our society today. We miss all of that.”

The Dinwiddies are still searching for answers and won’t stop until they bring Dail home. “Somewhere, somebody knows where Dail is or what happened to her,” said Dan.

The Dinwiddies also hope Dail’s story will remind young people to be more thoughtful and careful when they go out places and in their everyday lives because they don’t want any other families to face the heartache they have.

Lott says if money is the motivation, the department is still offering a $20,000 reward to anyone who can bring closure to this case and the Dinwiddie family.

If you know anything, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

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