SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Deputies have identified a person of interest after a missing Spartanburg County man was found dead in a shallow grave Tuesday.
The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office said Devantae Griffin, 28, of Spartanburg, was reported missing by his mother on March 30.
Griffin was last seen leaving a home on Winsmith Avenue shortly after midnight on March 29 with his on and off girlfriend Jessica Strachan, 28, of Spartanburg, deputies said.
Early in the investigation, deputies learned that Strachan was interfering with the investigation.
Deputies said when they asked Strachan for a second interview, she left for Florida without notice. She was located and arrested in Miami, Florida on April 1, 2022.
She was extradited back to Spartanburg County, appeared before a judge and received a $5,000 bond and was placed on home arrest.
Deputies said Strachan bonded out of jail on April 15, 2022, but she violated her home detention, was arrested again on April 25, 2022, and is currently being held in the Spartanburg County Detention Center.
During the course of the investigation, Tarus Dorail Crook, 33, of Spartanburg, was identified as a person of interest.
According to the sheriff’s office, Griffin’s body was found in a shallow grave behind the Evans Acres neighborhood.
“We have a murder. This is not just a missing person anymore,” said Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright.
The Spartanburg County Coroner’s Office ruled the manner of death as a homicide.
On Friday, Griffin’s family said it wasn’t the outcome they were hoping to hear and ask people who know anything about this investigation speak up and call investigators.
“Please say something, if you know something, you’ve seen anything, you’ve heard anything,” said Aunt Beverly Griffin. “These people are going to talk whether it’s within their crowds, their family members. The streets will talk.”
His family said they’ll miss his smile and personality and hope he receives justice.
“Our family just loved him, and he came in no contact with strangers like everybody just fell in love with him. Devantae was a good kid, and he loved so hard that it could have cost him his life,” said Beverly Griffin.
Anyone with information about Crook’s whereabouts or his involvement in this incident is asked to contact Investigator Megan Bennett at (864) 503-4608.