MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A team of investigators closed a 1986 Myrtle Beach murder case.
Douglas Pringle was elevated from a person of interest to the primary suspect, responsible for the murder of Gregory Charles Walker.
Christmas Day 1986, Myrtle Beach police officers responded to a call at the Capital Motel, located on South Kings Highway.
A motel employee called the department in reference to a deceased person.
When police arrived, they said it was "immediately apparent that 'Walker' was deceased."
Investigators later determined the cause of death was massive head and facial trauma. Evidence in the motel room pointed to the cause of the trauma resulting from a gunshot wound, and the weapon involved being a 20-gauge shotgun, the department stated.
Pringle was named as a person of interest, but officials said the "inability to gather sufficient probable cause to bring charges against Pringle" resulted.
Thus, placing the case under an 'Administratively Closed'statuse, able to be reopened, as new evidence was obtained.
In 2012, the decision was made to start a Cold Case Team, made up of retired law enforcement officers who live in or near Myrtle Beach.
"The team reviewed all case content, discussed all leads documented during the original investigation and applied evidence to know facts and combined theory that they developed," according to the police department.
Probable cause existed to support a warrant for the arrest of Douglas Pringle for the murder of Gregory Walker, which was granted by the Horry County Solicitors office.
"After 28 years, the victim received justice, his family can be at peace and have closure; however, the [Pringle] will never be charged due to his death," the department stated.
Without the Myrtle Beach Police Departments vision to form a cold case team and the good fortune of identifying highly-experienced retired law enforcement professional to anchor the teams who lived or retired to our area, this case mostly may never had been solved.
The Myrtle Beach Police Department and City as a whole applauds and holds these Cold Case Team members with the highest regard and appreciates their continued dedication to serve society.
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