Laurens County could be home of Ohio cold case victim


LAURENS COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) -A nearly 40-year-old cold case is now connected to the Upstate. According to a police department in Ohio, DNA connects the victim to Laurens County.

Laurens County is hoping people will see the renditions of the unidentified murder victim and be able to put a name to the face. He’s described as a 20 to 35-year-old African American man. His remains were found in Twinsburg, Ohio in 1982.

“Unfortunately really since then, besides a couple updates as far as the sketches go we have basically had no leads,” Det. Eric Hendershott with the Twinsburg Police Department said.

Recently, Hendershott contacted a group that uses DNA to identify cold case victims.

“Many of the DNA matches are coming back to Laurens County, South Carolina,” Hendershott said.

Dr. Jagannadha Kandala is the DNA Technical Leader for the Greenville County Forensics Lab.

“From there they can kind of deduce who the person is,” Kandala said.

He said DNA can connect a person to family members.

“Because DNA is the blueprint how you are connected with your family,” Kandala said.

That DNA can be extracted from crime scene evidence.

“It doesn’t get destroyed and it is there. For years and years,” Kandala said.

Ed Cyrus lives in Laurens County and is former law enforcement.

“That’s one of the tools they have to use in law enforcement,” he said.

He values the use of DNA to solve crimes.

“A lot of people see DNA sources as an invasion of privacy. I don’t feel that way,” Cyrus said.

Hendershott said the DNA matches created a lead.

“We never knew that before and we had no leads about who he was or where he was from,” he said.

Anyone with information should call The Twinsburg, Ohio Police Department at (330) 405-5679.

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