BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – It has been four weeks since a 76-year-old Berkeley County woman went missing near her home.
Ruth Jenkins was last seen during the afternoon of July 16 walking in the 1800 block of Highway 45 in the Pineville area of Berkeley County.
Jenkins’ friends and family held a press conference outside the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office on Monday where they called on the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) to take over the investigation.
“We’re here to bring awareness to a case that is bothering the entire community of Berkeley County,” said Justin Hunt with the SC Black Activist Coalition.
Hunt said he, along with some friends and family, is concerned that there are family members of Jenkins who have not been searching for her, nor have been in contact for many of the past 24 days since she went missing.
“We are thankful to the entire community of all colors who gracefully dedicated their efforts helping search acres by land and by water,” said Hunt.
During the press conference, the group said they appreciate work by the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office in its investigation into Jenkins’ whereabouts, but they are asking Sheriff Lewis or Solicitor Scarlett Wilson to request an investigation by SLED.
“I welcome any help,” said Sheriff Lewis. “I mean SLED, they were involved initially with a search and helped us, and I just don’t think it’s necessary at this point because our detective did everything that SLED would do.”
Sheriff Lewis said everyone in the family has been interviewed along with neighbors. They have not learned anything that leads them to believe foul play might be involved.
“We’ve not uncovered any foul play that we can determine at this point,” said Sheriff Lewis.
Sheriff Lewis said Jenkins was seen on a home surveillance camera not far from her own home. Then, a neighbor saw her walking into some nearby woods. He was concerned enough that he decided to take some action.
“We had one gentleman saw her, he went home, got his four-wheeler, and came back and she was gone,” the sheriff said.
Sheriff Lewis said if you have any information or know where she may be, you should contact the authorities.