Police seek help solving Bikefest weekend slayings


SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCIV/AP) - Myrtle Beach police are urging anyone with information about the shooting deaths of three people at a motel during the Atlantic Beach Bikefest to contact them or Crime Stoppers.

Detective Will Kitelinger was joined by family members of the victims at a news conference in Summerville on Wednesday in asking for the public's help.

Kitelinger says the case is a tough one because the victims were all from the Summerville area and the perpetrators could be from somewhere else in the U.S.

Myrtle Beach police consider a Memorial Day weekend shooting to be an ongoing investigation. The shooting happened in front of the Bermuda Sands resort was one of eight that weekend.

They say a man in a white shirt and black jeans is their suspect.

"We are not closing out any options. We believe that the local community has information; they can help us with this case. And again like the pastor eloquently stated for whatever reason they do not want to come forward with that," said Kitelinger.

The three victims - Devonte Dantzler, Jamie Williams and Sandy Geddis Barnwell - are all from the Summerville area and their families want answers.

"Our reality has now shifted and we look in everybody's face and we wonder who knows, who knows who murdered our loved ones," said Melody Geddis McFadden, Barnwell's aunt.

The Geddis and the Dantzler families fear as time goes by answers could be harder to find.

"It is very urgent to us that people tell what happened because Sandy wasn't in a gang. She didn't have a criminal record. She was just a young woman that was at the beach to have fun and see the bikes," said Geddis McFadden.

The Dantzler family said any answers will provide relief from the burden of not knowing what happened.

"Somebody have the information, so I think a lot of people just scared to come forward, because they don't want nothing to happen to their family, but like they said you can do this anonymously," said Devonte Dantzler's grandmother Terri.

Police initially said the slayings might be gang-related but the detective says he has no information to suggest that.

After a rash of violence in communities near Atlantic Beach during this year's bike festival, Gov. Nikki Haley called for an end to the annual event.

Crimestoppers is offering $1,000 for information leading to an arrest. The number to the tip line is 554-1111.