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Home  |  News  |  Sheriff, Coroner, Familiy search for murder suspect‏

Sheriff, Coroner, Familiy search for murder suspect‏
Friday, October 7, 2011

RICHLAND COUNTY, SC - Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott, Richland County Coroner Gary Watts and the family of Janice Gilchrist-Evans held a press conference today in hopes of finding out who murdered Janice in 1999.

Sheriff Leon Lott stated that on March 29, 1999 at 2:30 PM Deputies responded to a report from the Columbia Fire Department that a female body had been found, severely burned in a shed, in the 4000 Block of Percival Road. Sheriff Leon Lott stated that the Sheriff’s Department Cold Case Unit and Coroner’s Office Anthropologist have been working vigorously for years to determine the identity of the woman and why she was murdered. Investigators from both agencies have reviewed missing person’s reports and spoke to people in the community but found nothing that had any link to Janice.

The Sheriff stated that although the landscape of the area has changed over the last 12 years, the family and community still do not have closure on who committed this horrible crime. The Sheriff stated that the Department and Community will not rest until those responsible are brought to justice. Sheriff Leon Lott and Coroner Gary Watts offered the following time line in the events leading up to her death and her identity:

  • Janice Gilchrist-Evans was last seen in Columbia on March 22, 1999

  • Janice Gilchrist-Evans was murdered on March 29, 1999

  • Janice Gilchrist-Evans was transient in the Columbia during the time surrounding her murder and her family last saw her in August of 1998

  • The family reported her missing to the City of Columbia Police Department in April 2001

  • May 2011 the family contacted the Richland County Coroner’s Office stating that they believed she actually went missing in 1999

  • September 2011 The Coroner’s Office obtained DNA from the family believing there may be a link to the body found in March of 1999

  • September 2011 DNA positively identifies Janice as the victim

Coroner Gary Watts offered the circumstances surrounding the time line were critical in learning the identity of the victim – armed with this new information provided by the family, in May 2011, investigators were able to identify and now pursue new leads.

Sheriff Leon Lott stated that since we now know the identity of the person murdered that we are able to take the investigation to another level and follow new leads and information. The Sheriff stated that we are now able to follow up with acquaintances, family, locations where she may have lived or people who may have seen or talked to her.

Anyone with information on the identity of those responsible for the murder of Janice Gilchrist-Evans to call, email or text your anonymous tip to crimestoppers – the information you provide may help bring closure to the family and get you a cash reward of up to $1000.

If you, or someone you know, have any information regarding any crime, you are encouraged to contact Crimestoppers. You could earn a reward up to $1,000.

Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crimestoppers by calling 1-888-CRIME-SC.

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