LORIS, SC (WMBF) - The county coroner confirmed that the body of a Loris woman was found Sunday, days after she was first reported missing. The family says she was found in the woods near her crashed car, which was found and towed away on Thursday, without their knowledge.
Stephanie Callahan, 24, was found dead Sunday morning off of Morgan Road in Loris, according to Horry County Coroner Tony Hendrick.
According to Sonny Collins with the South Carolina Highway Patrol, troopers along with Horry County Fire Rescue responded to a crash off Morgan road on Feb. 19, around 2:30 a.m. Troopers searched but didn't find a driver or anyone in the area of the collision, according to Collins.
Collins reported that the car was registered to Stephanie Callahan. The trooper on the scene went to the address where the car was registered, but wasn't able to reach anyone at the residence. Collins said the address associated with the registration is not Callahan's parents' address. Callahan's father says that she had recently moved.
Collins reported that the registration wasn't updated with that address. A trooper was also sent to local hospitals to look for someone who may have been in a wreck and did not find anyone. Leads were then exhausted, according to Collins.
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The family said she was found in the woods near her crashed car, which was found and towed away on Thursday, without their knowledge.
This all started with a car crash last week; a crash that Stephanie's father says he knew nothing about until this weekend. She had been missing since late Wednesday night.
Saturday, the family says they learned her car had been towed from this location days before, and Sunday found out her body was not far away.
“Why let my cousin lay there, why let her freeze, why let her cry, why let her scream for help because you know she did. She didn't just lay there,” asked Sarah Reich, Callahan's cousin.
Callahan's father said Stephanie was on her way to her boyfriend's house that night after leaving a bar.
The family said no one told them about the accident, which they believe could have been the difference between life and death for Stephanie.
“We would have went through these woods arm in arm. We would have came through here like troopers. We're left here with the dead body of a 24-year-old mother,” said Callahan's aunt, Carol Reich.
Callahan's father said crews found her a quarter mile inside the woods in a tree stand. Bits of her car are still scattered around the area, but Stephanie's father said there's no way the family could have known she was still nearby.
“This is a 24-year-old mother, this is a 24-year-old best friend, this is a 24-year-old daughter, 24-year-old sister, and you can't let the family know?” Sarah Reich asked.
The family said knowing that they possibly could have done something to save Stephanie is something they just can't deal with right now.