Dillon cold case remains top priority after nearly a decade - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Dillon cold case remains top priority after nearly a decade

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Even a spot-on composite sketch of the suspect hasn't produced a single lead. Do you recognize this man? Even a spot-on composite sketch of the suspect hasn't produced a single lead. Do you recognize this man?
"I live it every day," said Amy.  "I still… in my mind, it feels like it happened yesterday." "I live it every day," said Amy. "I still… in my mind, it feels like it happened yesterday."

DILLON, SC (WMBF)  A Dillon cold case is still a top priority for investigators nearly a decade after the crime. Not only because of the extreme violent nature of the crime, but because of who the victim turned out to be.

Even more frustrating for detectives is the fact that the suspect's chances of getting away with this really were one in a million. 

The victim in this home invasion fights the urge to relive that day in 2003. For the victim's privacy, she has asked that we only use her first name.

"I live it every day," said Amy.  "I still… in my mind, it feels like it happened yesterday."

The victims of violent crime never forget. But for Amy, "never" is becoming a long time. Nine years ago this month, Amy's life changed in the most violent way possible. 

"While I was sitting there trying to breath, he was sitting there laughing at me, hoping I was dead," Amy recalls.

Amy was the victim of an attempted rape and murder, in broad daylight, in the shattered safety of her own home.

For the suspect, he could not have caught Amy at a more vulnerable moment. 

"He knocked on the door and I was laying on the couch asleep. I went to the door, not thinking to look out the window, you know," she explains.

 It was the only opportunity her attacker needed. Detective Jason Turner is in charge of Amy's case.  

"An attacker had come into the house on her and had beaten her in the head with a weapon, and when his advances did not work on her, he ended up shooting her and left her for dead," says Turner.

It was a Tuesday afternoon, around 1:30, May 27, 2003. 

Truth is, when Amy first found her home, she was convinced it was one of the safest places to live in all of Dillon. The area offered dozens of neighbors, businesses and even a church right across the street, right on busy Highway 301. 

Yet, it's nine years later, and not for a lack of effort, but police have zero leads in the attack.

Amy managed to get to a phone that day and her call brought what must have seemed like half the law enforcement in the state.

Detective Turner's head count that day showed nearly 100 officers responding.

"Between detention center officers, between Florence County, Dillon County, Dillon City, State Constables, Highway Patrol, SLED agents, we had bloodhounds, we had crime scene," recalls Turner.

Dillon Police detective Jason Turner takes Amy's case personally, as the victim was also a sworn police officer, a detention agent.

"We don't do anything different on this case than we would have done in John Q. Public," Turner says, explaining the handling of the case. But he admits this case was a priority.   

"There's quite a connection; this is someone who we've worked with.  I mean, we worked with her, we socialized," adds Turner.

And it's someone whose case is the number one unsolved priority in Dillon.  The file has never left the detective's desk. 

"We feel like someone out there seen something that is going to be important to this investigation," says Turner. "They just don't realize it. Maybe they don't realize it yet."

Even a spot-on composite sketch of the suspect hasn't produced a single lead. Nor did finding Amy's stolen wallet just over the border in Monroe a year later. Frustrating doesn't begin to describe this stagnant case.

Every police officer has that one case, that ache that sits in the back of his mind like a tumor. This is the one that Turner goes to bed thinking about. 

Turner admits, "That's it. This is the case. This is that case for me."

The strongest echo of that sentiment comes from the victim herself.

"It's never left me in  nine years. I still have nightmares. I still see his face. I'll never forget his face as long as I live, never," Amy says emotionally. 

Think about where you were May 27, 2003 at 1:30 in the afternoon. Think about what you might have seen in Dillon that day that could help detectives find a break in this case. 

Copyright 2012 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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