Cold Case Mystery: Unidentified Sumter Co. murder victims

(Sumter) May 25, 2006 - There are two bodies buried in a cemetery in Sumter, but no one knows their names. After almost 30 years the case still haunts Sumter County Coroner Verna Moore.

But she won't give up on her silent victims. "I feel there is possibly someone who knows who they are."

She wants that person to come forward.

Not only are their identities a mystery, but their killer or killers are as well.

Their bodies were found off Highway 341. They were both shot three times, once in the throat, chest and back.

A longtime resident, Jerry Locklair, still remembers that August day the bodies were found. The once-dirt road was closed for days. "The community wasn't so upset as much as curious as to what happened. It was evident it was something off I-95. We'd just like to see it resolved at sometime."

There were several clues that led investigators to believe the two were wealthy. The woman was wearing a ring. The man also had a ring and an expensive Bulova watch.

Moore says, "They were clean, neat. She was beautiful, real pretty girl. He was also."

Moore wants to look into the case further. She even wants to dig up one body to get a set of teeth.

Through the years, the case aired on national news programs generating thousands of tips, but the leads fell through, leaving Moore right back at the beginning with a stack of papers, pictures, and questions. "We don't know if they're brother, sister, boyfriend, girlfriend or just friends."

Moore doesn't think the two were from Sumter, but she knows someone out there knows them. "I wish if anyone knows them they would come forward."

And Moore could finally put a name to the faces she's been staring at for nearly 30 years.

If you have information, call the Sumter County Coroner's Office at 803-436-2111.

Posted 11:01pm by Chantelle Janelle