Dorchester County detectives looking for person of interest in decades-old cold case

Dorchester County News

DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – New evidence has been uncovered in a decades-old Dorchester County cold case.

The investigation began just before Christmas in 1998 when the body of a mother was found in the woods off Franchise Street in North Charleston.

“Early in the morning of the 21st, there was a young man who was looking for a place to squirrel hunt. At that time, it was heavily wooded and not a whole lot of buildings in that area – as he was walking through the woods, just in the wood line about 30 feet off the dirt portion of Franchise, he located the body,” explained Lt. Rick Carson with the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office.

It was the body of Stephanie Thompson – a Native American woman in her early 40s.

Nobody was ever charged with her death.

Stephanie Thompson | Provided

But new evidence recently came to light. While investigators cannot say publicly what that evidence is, there is enough to reopen the case.

It also allowed them to create a new sketch of a person of interest.

Detective Adam Wright with the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office is working to track down that person. Authorities believe this man has information about what happened to Thompson.

He would have been around his early to mid-twenties at the time. The Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office provided two sketches – one was done in 1998 right after the incident, the other is a new digitized sketch.

“This new sketch is a digitized sketch and it’s taken from the new evidence and the new forensic evidence that we have uncovered,” said Lt. Carson.

Investigators now need your help.

“In these cases, whoever is involved, they always talk to somebody. Somebody knows what happened,” said Lt. Cason. “Somebody knows who this young man is and I’m sure with this new digital sketch somebody has to recognize him right off the bat — and realize the sketch is 23 years old. But somebody is going to recognize him, and we need to talk to him because we know he has information about what happened to this young lady.”

Anyone with information about the person of interest or this case, in general, is asked to contact Detective Wright at 843-410-0325 or AJWright@dorchestercountysc.gov.

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