HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - The sister of a Socastee homicide victim is speaking out after more than a week has passed since the stabbing and she says police are no closer than day one on piecing the crime together.
After an emergency call took police and emergency workers to a Socastee home on the morning of Oct. 4, police confirmed a female victim had been stabbed to death.
The Horry County Police Department is investigating the homicide on Weeks Drive in the Socastee area of Horry County.
Sgt. Robert Kegler confirms that a female victim was stabbed inside a residential unit and the violent crimes division is investigating. The victim was identified by the Horry County Coroner's Office as 23-year-old Paris Shanita Bellinger. Preliminary results show Bellinger died as a result of multiple stab wounds.
The victim's sister, Latasha Turner, says not only is she dealing with the incredible pain of losing her sister, but she is angry and frustrated over what has transpired since she received the terrible news.
During a phone call with WMBF News Friday morning, Turner explained that she is frustrated with the police because she feels like "they aren't doing enough and are just pushing [Bellinger's murder] into the back of their mind."
Turner says the loss of her sister is hitting the entire family very hard. She reveals that her 14-year-old daughter receives grief counseling over her aunt's death and Turner's mother cannot sleep at all knowing whoever did this is still free.
"My sister was beautiful and vibrant. She loved to write poetry, to sketch. No matter what I was going through, she could always make me feel better," says Latasha Turner.
She says her sister moved to South Carolina to start her life over again.
The emergency call came into police at 10:50 a.m. on Oct. 4, and Sgt. Kegler said officers immediately went to work trying to solve the crime.
"Right now they're working on identifying any witnesses, anyone who knew the victim, working the neighborhoods and seeing what we can come up with to identify a suspect," explained Sgt. Kegler the morning Bellinger's body was discovered.
Violent Crimes detectives extended the crime scene in order to protect any evidence that may be connected to the homicide. Police say this includes footprints or drops of blood in the area. The crime scene includes the property between the neighboring home and a partial area of the street.
Now eight days after Bellinger was discovered stabbed to death in her home, Sgt. Kegler says police continue to investigate the murder, but have little evidence in the case.
"[The] search began in the neighborhood, but has branched out as [police] learn who was close to the victim and who she was connected with," Kegler explained.
Police cannot yet identify if Bellinger's murder was an isolated incident or a random killing; it's too early in the investigation, according to Kegler.
"I want to hear, I have a suspect, we have a lead. Something that makes me know they are working on this case as hard as they can. Because if it was one there sisters, one of their siblings, they wouldn't rest until they were found. And I just want them to work it that way," expresses Turner.
She says dealing with her sister's death is even more difficult because of how brutal it was.
"Now I can visualize someone doing this to her, in my mind. And it's hard to cope knowing somebody slaughtered her like she was a piece of meat. She was somebody's child. Someone's sister, an auntie," says Turner.
Her death is leaving the family frustrated.
"To know someone didn't care about her and killed her so viciously and to know they're walking around every day and I'm in pain, my mothers in pain, and were all hurting and in the why. Why did they? Why did they kill her?"
Neighbors say Bellinger kept to herself and has only been living there for about six weeks. They believe she was supposed to move out at the end of last month. Even though they were not close to her, they were worried about her health.
"We were very concerned about her. She was just skinny as a rail, thought maybe something was going on," says Robert Weeks, who lives across the street.
Weeks and his wife, Yvonne, have wanted to reach out to the woman. They wanted to offer her gospel information, and support.
"I never got the chance. We just never ran into each other at the right time to approach her," says Yvonne Weeks. She adds, "my heart is just real sad, just real sorry."
Many people in the area said the street is usually very quiet, and they are nervous about a murder happening so close to their own homes.
"Never been nervous before, though I do have two iron bolts on both of my doors, but we've never had any trouble, anything taken. Never been nervous before," says Mr. Weeks.
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