North Myrtle Beach cold case suspect had lengthy criminal history

North Myrtle Beach give update on Shawn Neal case closure

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - After a long 24 years, the city of North Myrtle Beach’s lone cold case, finally has a suspect.

North Myrtle Beach Police Chief Greg Purden announced during a press conference Thursday morning that Shawn Neal’s murder case is officially closed, after new technology allowed for a reexamination of old DNA evidence.

Neal, of Leland, N.C., was found dead in a condo at the Windy Shores II Condominium complex in 1996. It was determined she had been rendered defenseless and strangled.

However, the suspect will not face charges. Ronald Lee Moore died in a Louisiana prison in 2008, according to North Myrtle Beach police.

Before that, North Myrtle Beach police said he was in and out of prison since 1986 for numerous crimes, including hundreds of burglaries and at least one sexual assault case has been tied to his DNA.

Most of his time spent behind bars was in Maryland. Investigators said he did not have a criminal history within the state of South Carolina.

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They also believe he did not have ties to the Grand Strand.

Detectives did learn that Moore had friends in Louisiana that he would visit and it is possible that while traveling from Maryland to Louisiana, he passed through North Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand and committed the 1996 homicide, according to authorities.

Detective Lt. Micheal Swarthout said he and his team spent countless hours on the case.

“For me personally I would have loved to ask him, ‘Why?’ but I’m just happy that it’s over," Swarthout said.

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