Sheriff: Colleton County murders remain unsolved because witnesses won't cooperate

Colleton County Sheriff's Office (File, WCIV)

There's several unsolved cases in Colleton County. While it may be easy to point the finger at law enforcement, Sheriff Andy Strickland is placing part of the blame on the community—and he's getting real on social media.

In a post on the Colleton County Sheriff's Office Facebook page, he outlined the many reasons why cases stall.

"When the community won't step forward, we ask questions and no one seems to want to help with the investigation," said CCSO Public Information Officer Tony Jones. "You know, we can't read minds, you know, we can only do what we can do."

Strickland used one recent shooting on August 5 as an example, when a man was killed on Ford Lane in the Ritter community.

Several hundred people were at the scene of the crime, but detectives say they refused to cooperate. "With a crime scene that populated, we feel that somebody knows something, somebody saw something," Jones said.

Despite investigators best efforts, Jones says most cases cannot rely on physical evidence alone. "What we're running into is the fact that our guys show up on scene, a scene where a crime has been committed and suddenly we find out that the scene has been tampered with."

Strickland also named several other unsolved cases in the county, cases where eyewitness testimony is crucial.

But Jones says anonymous tips are just as helpful:

Understandably, people might not want to come forward because of they fear retaliation or some other event taking place. That's what we want to take care of as well because if we can get the bad guy behind bars then we can start to make some forward progress of eradicating crimes like this from the community.

Officials say it's never too late to report eyewitness testimony. Sometimes one tip is enough to make or break a case.

If you have information on any cases being investigated by the Colleton County Sheriff's Office, you're asked to call (843) 549-2211.

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