In 2004, Silene Eaddy, also known as Erica, was 15 years old and living in Columbia, South Carolina with her family. Silene’s mother, Brenda McCoy, had adopted her at the age of five after fostering her for two years.
Brenda remembered Silene in her early years fondly, “She would try to do things for you. She would try to cook and she would have her little brother dress up in a suit and meet you at the door.” Mary Revels, who worked with Silene in a volunteer program, also remembered her as a caring child.
Silene’s teenage years were not easy, however. Her adoptive father passed away and she began to hang out with the “wrong” crowd and often ran away from home.
“I knew she fell in with the wrong crowd of people, so knew in my heart something was not right. I think in some ways, she was afraid because of some of the things she would say, but then she didn’t know how to get out of her situation,” says Brenda.
On Thursday evening, April 15, 2004, Silene left her house between 7 and 7:30 pm and headed toward her neighbor’s house who lived around the corner. The reason for the visit was unknown, but Silene would often walk around her neighborhood and stop and chat with different neighbors. Unfortunately, she was never seen or heard from again after she left her house that evening.
Around 5:00 am on Saturday, April 17, 2004, firemen responded to a call of a small brush fire in Southern Richland County near Montgomery Lane and Pincushion Road, just off Highway 378. While putting out the fire, the body of a teenage girl was discovered lying face down. The girl had been severely beaten and investigators believed the victim was still alive when she was set on fire as soot was found in her lungs. Investigators also believe she knew the person who killed her, and that she was set on fire to destroy any evidence.
The body was identified as Silene through dental records, and a necklace with a charm of a shoe or boot was found around her neck, identical to one Silene owned.
To date, no suspects have been arrested and the case is still considered unsolved, although investigator Gene Mincey has stated: “We are very close to solving this if we can just get that other shred of evidence or testimony.”
Posted from Hue and Cry (www.thehueandcry.com) with permission