A former Pulaski County woman's body has been discovered burned in a ditch in South Carolina.
Authorities working the case in Chester County, South Carolina, have identified the woman as Melissa Whitis, 31. Her last permanent address was listed as Frankfort, Ky., but according to friends, she attended school at Pulaski County High around 2005. WKYT-TV reported she also had ties to Lexington.
Whitis' body was discovered on Sept. 24 after being spotted by a motorist. Deputies are now investigating the case as a homicide and looking for the person responsible for Whitis' death.
Whitis had several distinctive tattoos, which deputies used to identify her, according to WSOC-TV in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Investigators with the sheriff’s office and South Carolina’s State Law Enforcement Division believe Whitis was in North Carolina in the area near Interstate 40 in Davie County when last seen on Sept. 17, Chester County Sheriff Max Dorsey said. Whitis was wearing wearing yellow pants, a gray coat, and a knee brace, with her hair pulled up in a knit cap.
Chester County is a rural county south of Rock Hill, between Charlotte and Columbia. Davie County is northwest of Charlotte, between Statesville and Winston-Salem.
“We are asking the public in both states to help us in this ongoing homicide investigation,” Dorsey told the Rock Hill (South Carolina) Herald on Thursday morning. “We hope that anyone who may have seen her can help.”
Law enforcement in Davie County are now assisting in the homicide probe, Dorsey said. North Carolina state police and State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) agents also are assisting in the investigation, Dorsey said.
Authorities have not released any information on a possible suspect in the case.
Details on how Whitis was killed or where she died have not been released.
Anyone having information about Whitis or anyone having contact with her is asked to call the Chester County Sheriff’s Office at 803-581-5131.