Cold Case: A five-year mystery, still no arrest

Cold Case: A five-year mystery, still no arrest

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - It happened five years ago in the middle of the day. Dwayne Gaghum was in his car when someone shot him in the head, killing him and sending his vehicle careening into a home.  It happened in a residential area filled with homes and people, so why is it so hard to solve this murder?  Conway Police hope you can help authorities by providing the missing piece to the puzzle.

It was another typical day at work for 26-year-old Nichole Gaghum. Things started off in a usual way in Conway for Nichole, her brother and parents.  Nichole Gaghum is Dwayne's daughter, and says she had her "core four" - that was her family, and that was all she felt she needed to get by.  But everything changed December 27, 2012.

"Shots fired...caller was outside talking with a neighbor and they heard shots possibly coming from Hemingway Street, but she didn't see anything," said a dispatcher during a 911 call from that day in 2012.

Nichole's father Dwayne Gaghum was in his car on Hemingway Street in Conway when he was shot in the head. His car then sped down that street and crashed into a home, nearly knocking it off of its foundation.

"A truck ran into a house and the guy's not moving or breathing or anything. I don't know if he's dead or what," the 911 call continued.

Gaghum did die from that gunshot wound, and now for Nichole, life will never be the same. She said she doesn't feel as strong as she once did. She said she feels like she is going to lose random people. For a long time, she pushed everyone away because she felt like it would be easier if she did lose them if she wasn't as close to them.

Nichole is moving on, but admits it's the not knowing that makes it hard to resume her daily routine.  She said she still has no idea why her father died, and she thinks that's what eats her up the most: that she doesn't know and she never got that closure.

But Gaghum's brother Bill said his brother's death is no mystery to him. The retired Conway Police officer of thirty years said his brother had a problem.

Bill said his brother dabbled in drugs, and that's why he got shot. Bill said he knew his brother was on drugs, that he tried to get Gaghum off of them, and that Gaghum ignored him. Police have not said publicly that drugs were involved in this incident. In fact, their investigation has come to somewhat of a dead end.

Lieutenant Selena Small with the Conway Police Department said she knows that there were a lot of people out that day.  She said often times she does get "well I didn't see anything"...or "I only saw this." Small said clearly people did confirm for her department that they saw Gaghum come down the road. She said witnesses saw people out and about, but they weren't paying that much attention, and then they heard the gunshot and the car drive off.   But she feels pretty confident that there's somebody out there who could corroborate what she's been told.  She said sometimes if you have several people who witnessed the same thing, it helps make that case stronger.

Nichole admitted the rumors run rampant. She just wants the truth, and she wants everyone to know just what this world is missing now that her dad, her best friend, is no longer in it.

Nichole said her dad was just a good guy, someone who cared about everyone equally. She also said he was funny.

Conway Police did make an arrest in this case, however that person was let go after the solicitor's office ruled there wasn't enough evidence to go to trial. The charges were dismissed.

This murder took place in a residential area in broad daylight, in the middle of the day. As Small said: people were there; some saw what happened. Now authorities are hoping at least one of those people will step forward.  If you have any information call your local police or Crimestoppers.

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