MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - It should have been his safe place….and you could almost always find Ronald Hardee there….at his home in Loris. But three years ago it was there at his home, on his back porch, that Ronald was gunned down…and for three years this case has gone unsolved. Maybe you can help provide some closure.
It's how his family remembers him....Ronald Hardee could almost always be found on his back porch sitting in his wooden chair...it was his happy place...his place to simply pass the time...it would also be the place where his time ran out.
Second cousin Kelly Holmes says "he didn't bother anybody and he had a lot of friends and if you went over there to ask him anything nine times out of ten he would do it." Holmes is Ronald's cousin but you may mistake her for his sister.. growing up, the two were inseparable.
Kelly says "I mean we spent every waking hour together if we weren't in school we rode to school together we came home together. If one rode the bus all rode the bus that's just the way it was."
So that Sunday morning in June of 2013 when Kelly was told her second cousin….her near brother had been gunned down...she dropped everything and ran next door.
Kelly says "He was sitting with his back to the porch and he was slumped over and you could see where the bullet went through the screen and it hit him in the back of the head, he never knew what hit him."
Authorities say Ronald was actually murdered the night before, his body lay undiscovered overnight.
Coroner says Robert Edge says there was a gunshot wound to the left ear and blood on the back of the neck.
Edge says "Ya know this is one that they were never able to come up with a lot of leads I don't think they found anybody that he was having any problems with. It's just one of those mysteries that there were very few leads, very few details to go on."
Something peculiar Kelly will tell you....Ronald was always in bed by 7:30 at night....8 at the latest. So why was He on his porch around 9 that night? Kelly Immediately went into investigator mode.
She says "It was not random it was somebody that he knew that done it. So they just shot him…shot him in the back of the head but that was their intention anyway."
But who would want to kill a man who kept to himself? A man who had no known enemies. The small town of Loris started talking. ..and some pointed the finger very close to home.
"He was just an all-around good man. He'd take his shirt off his back to help somebody."
Enter Mandy Hardee...Ronald's Daughter
(Eric Weisfeld) "I'm going to be completely honest with you…one thing I've heard is that you are in some way involved."
Mandy says "There's no way I'm involved in any of it."
(Eric) "So when you hear that"
"It breaks my heart because I cannot hurt a fly. I cannot hurt my father it breaks my heart."
(Eric) "Have people said that to you? Have you heard that?
Mandy says "I've heard that but you just got to know within you that you didn't do it and the truth will be told cause I would never hurt a soul especially my Daddy."
It's important to note although Mandy has been questioned by police...she says she even took a lie detector test...police have never named her as a suspect."
Mandy says "I believe that it's gonna end up solved. I believe that they're gonna find out."
(Eric asks) What do you think happened?
Mandy says "I couldn't tell you. My Daddy was the type of person…he kept his business to himself. I didn't know a whole lot I didn't even know half his friends so I can't say. I don't know.
And so the mystery continues...Who Killed Ronald Hardee and why? Perhaps you can help authorities.....you'd also be helping those who were so close to him...like Kelly who says not a day goes by she doesn't think of Ronald and what this world is missing with him gone.
"It's just hard to get used to. You look over there and you think well…I've had it happen several times…I'm gonna go talk to Ronald and then you realize you can't. It's just really, really sad because he bothered nobody…nobody."
If you have a cold case you want solved. Email Eric at email@example.com
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