A Greenville County teen charged with murdering a Mauldin High School student said at a bond hearing that he’s not the killer.
Sosa Mandiez Croft, 18, will remain behind bars in the shooting death of 16-year-old Joshua Meeks.
Meeks was reported missing on Wednesday.
On Thursday morning, investigators found his lifeless body in Laurens County.
“I never had an issue with Josh,” Croft said in court. “I wouldn’t personally do this to Josh.”
Croft spoke directly to Meeks’ family claiming he’s not the person responsible for the teen’s death.
“I’m going to let you know this now. I am working with my lawyer and I’m realizing, I’m telling you who the killer is… who the monster is that took your son away from you. The person who pulled the trigger that night… the person who took Josh away,” Croft said.
Croft’s confession was of little value to Meeks’ family.
“Whatever you say, it’s not going to bring him back,” a spokesperson for the family said in court.
Meeks, a junior at Mauldin High School, was reported missing on Wednesday.
Investigators with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office say they recovered Meeks’ car near 1901 Woodruff Road around 1 p.m. Wednesday. Investigators found blood on the vehicle.
That gruesome discovery led investigators to dive deeper into the case.
After learning Croft and Meeks were involved in a drug deal, investigators believe Croft stole Meeks car and then shot and killed him.
Meeks’ body was found near Deer Wood Circle and N. Deerwood Drive – nearly 30 miles from his Mauldin home.
The coroner’s office says Meeks died of a gunshot wound.
“Joshua did not deserve this,” a family spokesman said. “He had plans. He was going to go to Clemson. He was a straight A student. We don’t know what fully happened, but we know this is one of the worst acts we’ve ever heard of.”
Greenville County Schools Director of Communications Beth Brotherton said there were extra grief counselors at Mauldin High School on Thursday.
Brotherton says Croft has not been enrolled in any district school since the 2016-2017 school year. He was a sophomore at JL Mann High at the time.
Investigators can’t say why Meeks was found in Laurens County. They tell 7News it’s possible there are more suspects and accomplices.
Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 864-23-CRIME.
If you are interested in helping Meeks’ family a GoFundMe has been setup, click here for more information.