WMBF News Investigates: Missing pieces from Memorial Day weekend mayhem leave triple homicide unsolved

WMBF News Investigates: Missing pieces from Memorial Day weekend mayhem leave triple homicide unsolved

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The fourth week in February 2015 marks nine months since one of the most violent and deadly moments in the history of Myrtle Beach.

During the height of Bikefest, three people were gunned down at a motel on Ocean Boulevard.

In a WMBF News investigation, reporter Brennan Somers delved into what police need to solve this triple murder and where the victim's families believe investigators may find the answers to crack the case.

"Still no closure, there's none and it's hard just believing that your child is gone and it's just a day to day process hour by hour process it still don't seem true," confessed Patrina Dantzler, victim's mother.

For Dantzler, the past nine months have been a nightmare. She said her only son left town to go to Bikefest last year and never made it back alive.

Gunshots tore through a crowded Ocean Boulevard during a fight. The chaos sent thousands scrambling when one person was shot right outside the Bermuda Sands motel.

Three others, involved in the fight, took off up the stairs of the motel running for safety, which they didn't find.

They were followed by the gunman who opened fire, killing the three victims, all in their 20s.

Despite the fact that hundreds of people were standing right next to the shooter that night, the killer hasn't been found or even identified.

The only description of the suspect is a black man wearing dark pants and a white shirt with writing on the front.

It's not much to follow up on, but police say they've done everything they can to find the shooter.

Investigators say this case may be harder to solve because the people who know what happened aren't talking.

"When we don't get that, it is frustrating, but that's why we continue to encourage the public to step forward and provide us any information they may have -- whether they feel it's relevant or not -- it could be that small piece of information that breaks the case wide open," said Lt. Crosby with the Myrtle Beach Police Department.

The investigation into the triple murder in Myrtle Beach would ultimately take police hours south, away from the Grand Strand to the lowcountry, into the town of Summerville.

The victims were from this area, so investigators thought they may find a key piece of evidence here that might help them solve this case.

Police haven't found that piece of evidence, but that doesn't necessarily mean they won't.

The families of the shooting victims still believe there may be someone in Myrtle Beach who knows exactly what happened that night at Bermuda Sands.

"There is someone out there who knows. There's someone out there who actually hears someone bragging about what they've done to these kids and they are all in fear to come forward because of whatever reason," said Dantlzer.

Inside Patrina Dantlzer's home are dozens of pictures of her son Devonte.

The 21-year-old's room remains just the way he left it the night he left for Myrtle Beach to go to Bikefest.

Her son, along with Sandy Barnwell and Jamie Williams was shot dead last May.

Dantzler said what she just can't come to terms with is the fact cell phone videos and social media posts from that night at Bermuda Sands show just how many people were there when her son was killed, but for some reason no one will talk.

"A lot of them have this no snitching guidelines they try to walk by because they feel they have to do it for their society and peers. But what they don't understand is it's not considered snitching when you're not a part of the activity that has taken place," Dantlzer said.

Dantzler said she stays in touch with investigators, calling every so often asking if there are any new leads in finding the person who murdered her son.

When and if, police ever catch the gunman Dantzler says a conviction wouldn't be the end.

"Based on what Devonte would say, He's one that is a forgiving person so even for that person to be arrested he would still say, 'Mom, that's not justice; Mom, that's not what's going to make it better,'" she said. "[Devonte] would want that person to rehabilitate themselves and speak out to others to keep from them from losing their family, their loved ones, their children."

While police said they don't consider the investigation a cold case, it is another day gone without any answers.

In addition, the case not only left three families with a devastating loss, the triple murder sparked a community outcry for answers as to what went wrong that night at Bermuda Sands, and how something like this could even happen in Myrtle Beach..

Grand Strand leaders formed a Bikefest Task Force team to come up with solutions and ways to prevent another violent Memorial Day weekend.

That task force team meets again Thursday.
Tune in to WMBF News at 5 a.m. to preview the meeting agenda.

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