Mother of cold case victim: 'It's a nightmare'

Beth Ann Cameron (provided)

By Nikki

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- A mother who lost her daughter to an unsolved murder has broken a 20-year silence.

North Charleston Police are taking a closer look at the case of Beth Ann Cameron after investigators recently discovered an apparent tie between the victim and a company known as Sugar & Spice, an escort service previously located in North Charleston.

"It's been very painful. It's something you have to go through to understand. You just can't describe it," said Carmela Cameron, the mother of Beth Ann Cameron.

From a young age, growing up for Beth Ann Cameron wasn't easy, according to her mother.

"She had a lot of problems with kids picking on her, in the way she talked. She had curly hair and she didn't really fit in," Carmela said.

After high school, and determined to be successful, she joined the U.S. Navy and was stationed at the former Charleston Naval Base -- but even there she had problems.

"She didn't enjoy it. It was very tough. It was something new to have a woman aboard ship. And she wasn't a person to be pushed around," Carmela said. "She wasn't happy. I kept telling her, 'you can always leave.' She would say 'no, I'm going to stay with it.'"

The 24-year-old had been a sailor for a little more than a year when she was last seen on December 17, 1987. A little more than two weeks later her decomposed body was discovered in a wooded area off Crossroads Drive in North Charleston.

"It was a nightmare. It's still a nightmare. I just had to live with it," Carmela said.

A motive for the murder still isn't clear, but investigators are now working closely with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service in hopes of solving the case.

"We're going to be looking touch DNA and other DNA evidence that was not available to be gathered from evidence at that time in 1988," said Sgt. James Hill.

Hill, with the North Charleston Police Department, says they're trying to determine a link between the murder and the former escort service known as Sugar & Spice.

"I don't have any evidence saying she was involved in it. It's just something that's come up in the investigation and we're trying to see if it goes anywhere," Hill said.

Carmela says she can't imagine a possible a link between the two.

"This is something I never heard before, so I can't give any information on it," Carmela said.

In the meantime, she keeps hoping her daughter's case will one day be solved.

"She was a good human being. She was a loving daughter," Carmela said. "We loved her and we still love her."

Investigators won't say how Beth Ann was killed. They are hoping to talk to anyone who may have served with her onboard the submarine, USS Holland.

Beth Ann Cameron is originally from Alabama.

If you have any information on this case, you're asked to call Crime Stoppers at 843-554-1111. You can remain anonymous and even qualify for a cash reward.