Arrest made in murder of Kershaw County girl


KERSHAW COUNTY, S.C. (WCIV) - Deputies in Kershaw County have made an arrest in the murder of Briana Rabon.

According to deputies, 21-year-old Stephen Ross Kelly, of Leslie Branham Road in Lugoff, S.C., for the murder of Rabon. Officials have not yet said how Kelly and Rabon knew each other, if at all.

In a press conference Saturday morning, Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews said Kelly will be charged with murder, kidnapping and first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Rabon's body was found in a wooded area in Elgin on Wednesday. The Kershaw County coroner said the 18-year-old had been strangled.

"Two of my officers went back out there today in good day light and did a broader search of the area around it and actually found a very key piece of evidence," Matthews told ABC Columbia.Matthews would not elaborate on that piece of evidence.

Some children playing on a dirt road near Elgin found the girl's body Wednesday afternoon. Officials say they are not sure where she was killed.

Neighbors said while they are glad Kelly is behind bars it does not mean they are able to rest easy.

"It's a sigh of relief but then it jilts the community because it's such an overwhelming fear that it initially installs into the community that it could happen at any moment," said Bernadette Smith.

The sheriff said a missing persons report was filed on the teen as investigators were at the location where her body was found. The teen's car was found at a restaurant at US 601 and Interstate 20.

Kelly is being held in the Kershaw County Detention Center. A bond hearing will be scheduled.

Matthews said he plans to go to Kelly's bond hearing and ask the judge to deny Kelly bond.

Matthews said Kelly was arrested last year for criminal domestic violence after beating up his girlfriend, burglarizing a home and stealing a truck.

Services for Rabon will be held Sunday at Sawney's Creek Baptist church in Ridgeway.