ANDERSON COUNTY, SC (WSPA) – A man was arrested and charged this week for the murder of an Anderson County man nearly four years after he was reported as missing.
The 2015 missing persons case of Emmanuel Quarles started in Anderson County and quickly spanned to include Oconee and Pickens counties.
Inside a Pickens County courtroom Friday morning, 7News was the only ones there as Kerry Cobb stood before a judge entering a not guilty plea after being charged with Quarles’ murder.
Anderson County Sheriff’s Office officials said Quarles was reported missing by his mother in April 2015.
“He was last seen being dropped off at a location in Pendleton,” Capt. Andy Tribble with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office said.
Evidence led detectives to a possible sighting of him at the Roadrunner Store near Seneca, and then just days later a truck turned up in Pickens County with his blood inside the vehicle.
But, no arrests were made or suspects named following that discovery.
“After Sheriff Chad McBride took office, we started looking at some cold cases that we thought needed some attention and that is one we thought had not yet grown cold,” Tribble said.
Detectives handed the case over to the Attorney General’s Office as the Quarles family continued to fight for answers and keep their hope alive.
“I keep thinking about what he would say and he would say ‘Mama you got this,'” Pamela Quarles, Emmanuel’s mother, said.
The Attorney General’s Office received the case in September and by January indictments were filed against Cobb, even though a body was never found.
We’re told that type of indictment is so rare in South Carolina that it is one of only five cases where someone is charged with murder even though a body was never recovered.
“This just happened the day before yesterday they come and locked me up and said I’d been indicted on murder,” Cobb said in court Friday. “I’ve been on house arrest the last four years and my mama’s in bad shape. I’m taking care of her.”
Quarles family, including his mother, filled the courtroom on Friday, seeing Cobb for the first time since being indicted.
“Mostly relief, but also hurt because it’s a murder charge so it just hurts,” Quarles’ mother told us in regards to the arrest in her son’s case.
But she’s not giving up hope that someday she will find her son again.
“It’s real hard, but to me I don’t consider him as gone,” she said. “I consider him as out there searching me as I am out there searching and looking for him.”
The judge denied bond for Cobb citing him as a flight risk and risk to any witnesses in the case.
The next step is Cobb to get an attorney as the Attorney General’s Office moves forward to a murder trial in Pickens County.