Mount Pleasant, SC (WCBD) – Norman Philip Browne, 44, of Charleston, was arrested and charged with murder in connection to the death of Ann Witherspoon. Investigators apprehended the suspect in Myrtle Beach Wednesday evening.
Browne had previously been charged with Grand Larceny after police say he stole Witherspoon’s Cadillac three days before her death.
Witherspoon was reported missing on February 9th by her long-time friend, Mary Webb.
Ms. Webb told investigators with the Mount Pleasant Police Department that she believed Witherspoon went to Myrtle Beach to meet with Browne on February 6th.
According to the police report, Witherspoon is a franchise owner of a Matco Tool truck. She met him around 6 months earlier at a local automotive shop.
Withersopoon reportedly invested around $15,000-$25,000 into Browne’s tool business, but wasn’t able to get a written contract showing the investment. The trip to Conway was regarding a contract.
Someone who knew Witherspoon told police, Browne wanted to date Witherspoon but she wasn’t interested. At one point, according to the report, he allegedly tried to forcibly kiss her.
After Witherspoon was reported missing, Browne confirmed to police, the two met and he drove her back to Mount Pleasant after she was injured during their meeting. Browne said he left Mount Pleasant around 11:30 p.m. in the Cadillac that night and drove back to his home in Myrtle Beach.
He told investigators that he returned the Cadillac to Witherspoon on February 7th in Wilmington, NC around 8:00 p.m.
However, it was reported that Browne was pulled over by South Carolina Highway Patrol in Myrtle Beach that day and was in possession of the vehicle.
Just two days later her body would be found at her home in the Old Village.
The coroner on scene, Bobbi Jo O’Neal, estimated that Witherspoon had been deceased for more than 48 hours—meaning she would have been dead during the time Browne claimed he was returning her car in Wilmington.
The vehicle was not located at Witherspoon’s home in Mount Pleasant and remains unaccounted for.