Woman found dead off Myrtle Beach coast 2 years ago identified - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Woman found dead off Myrtle Beach coast 2 years ago identified

Robin Kelly (Source: Robin Kelly's family) Robin Kelly (Source: Robin Kelly's family)
Robin Kelly. Source: MBPD Robin Kelly. Source: MBPD
Left: A artist's sketch of the woman found dead. Right: The dolphin tattoo officials hope will help identify her Left: A artist's sketch of the woman found dead. Right: The dolphin tattoo officials hope will help identify her

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – A woman who was found dead after washing ashore in Myrtle Beach in May 2013 has been identified, the county coroner confirmed Monday.

Robin Ann Kelly, from Raleigh, was identified as the woman who washed ashore in Myrtle Beach over two years ago, according to Horry County Coroner Robert Edge and who had remained unidentified ever since. 

The woman was found on May 5, 2013, near 24th Avenue South and the beach, apparently the victim of a drowning, Myrtle Beach Police's Lt. Joey Crosby stated in a news release. The woman was white, middle-aged, wearing a bathing suit, and had a unique dolphin tattoo on her left ankle. No other forms of identification were found on the victim, or near her. MBPD, The Horry County Coroner's Office, and other local agencies launched an investigation which focused on the circumstances of her death and her identity. Hundreds of leads spanning the country were investigated with no positive results. Dental records and DNA of the woman were entered into a national database.

The woman was the subject of an investigative report by WMBF News earlier this year. The coroner said it was thanks to this report, that was aired by WECT, a Wilmington affiliate, that someone recognized Kelly and helped to identify her.

New information was received by the coroner's office in October of this year, that led to the identity of the woman, and the whereabouts of family members,  Lt. Crosby stated. Contact was made with the family, and DNA samples from the family was cross-matched with the woman's, resulting in a positive identification of her as Robin Ann Kelly of Raleigh.

"The Myrtle Beach Police Department along with the Horry County Coroner’s office is appreciative for the assistances received in identifying Robin Kelly as being the deceased and bringing closure to her family members," Lt. Crosby stated.

Robin Kelly's family released the following statement to WMBF and WECT News on November 16, 2015:

We’d like to express our sincere appreciation to WMBF and WECT for broadcasting the story that led to the identification of our sister, Robin Kelly.  We’d also like to thank the Horry County Coroner's Office and the Myrtle Beach police for their tireless efforts and for the kindness and professionalism they have shown. 

In addition to being our beloved sister, Robin was a wonderful, loving aunt; devoted daughter; cousin; and friend to many.  She loved to sail and spend time on the water. She enjoyed nature and camping, and spent many summers enjoying the outdoors. To those who loved her, Robin was much more than a woman who happened to have a tattoo of dolphins on her ankle.

We would appreciate your keeping the above facts at the forefront of any follow-up story you may choose to report, and ask that you honor our sister Robin by not referring to her in a way that references a pop-culture book and movie.  We thank you in advance for respecting this request. 

We have been deeply concerned about Robin for many years.  We are heartbroken that untreated mental health issues caused her to steadily withdraw from family and friends as well as to ignore all efforts of help offered by family and friends.  We have been praying for her health and well-being, and her eventual return to our lives.  We are deeply saddened that this will not happen.  We pray that perhaps her story may encourage others who are struggling with mental health challenges to seek help.

We thank you again for your interest in having Robin identified.  As we continue to grieve the loss of our sister, know that we have no further comment at this time, and we ask for your respect of our privacy.  

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