Victim found in car along I-26 identified

Published: Aug. 24, 2008 at 9:22 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 1, 2008 at 3:41 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Authorities say a woman found dead inside her car on an Interstate 26 exit near downtown Columbia on Sunday morning was shot in the chest.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott and Richland County Coroner Gary Watts on Monday announced the results of the autopsy of 23-year-old Natasha Warren.

The 23-year-old Columbia woman was found dead inside her car on Sunday near the Bush River Road exit.

Lott and Watts said Warren died as a result of a gunshot wound to the upper body.

Sheriff Lott stated the victim was on her way to work Friday when she got a flat tire. He said she went to a local convenience store and called a family member for assistance. Warren also called her bosses at the post office to tell them she'll be late, but she never showed up.

Investigators are trying to figure out what happened between then and Sunday morning.

Anthony Shell had a hard time sleeping Sunday night after finding out his friend and co-worker had been killed.

"Why? Why would somebody do this to Tasha?" Shell asked.

Authorities say Warren was well-educated. She worked two jobs -- one at the West Columbia Postal Mail Processing and Distribution Center and the other at Providence Medical Hospital where she had just started as a patient care assistant. She'd been there only a week.

"She was doing positive things. Doing things to make herself better," Shell said.

Lott said Warren's body was found by the South Carolina Highway Patrol late Sunday morning, and several of her personal belongings were missing.

The sheriff said someone may have seen someone with her or may have seen what happened to her. Lott says investigators are looking for a motive and suspect in the killing.

"Somebody may have seen somebody with her. Somebody may have seen this actually happen. Regardless of what information you may have, we need you to come forward," Shell said.

CSI spent much of Sunday and Monday searching the area off I-26.

Still, investigators need your help finding Natasha Warren's killer. Anyone with information is asked to call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

Reported by Dan Tordjman and Brandi Cummings

Posted by Jeremy Turnage