Neighbors and friends mourn woman found dead in Anderson County

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LAURENS COUNTY, SC (WSPA) – A $1,000 Crimestoppers reward is available for information that could lead to an arrest for a woman found dead in a wooden area in Anderson County, the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office said.

7NEWS crews spoke with 58-year-old Billy Jean Cross’ cousin off camera. Cross’ cousin said she’s shocked and the family is very devastated.

“It’s rough. It shakes you up, especially when we felt so secured in this neighborhood,” neighbors said.

“Nothing like this has ever happened in this area. That’s another thing, it’s just strange. It’s hard to wrap your head around what happened,” said Maria Graham, victim’s neighbor. “I was devastated, because it’s so closed to home. It could’ve been me, instead of her,” Maria said.

Maria and her husband live just doors down from Cross. Neighbors said Cross is known as BJ.

“She was a nice person, once you get to know her, and she didn’t have a lot of people coming in and out their house or anything like that other than the people that she knew,” Maria said. “Other than that, she was very nice, a nice person. Likable.”

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office said Cross had health issues, and was last spoken to on Dec. 9.

“She was always on a walker,” Michael Graham said. “She went missing without her car, so someone took her from here.”

Cross’ best friend and neighbor also spoke with 7NEWS off-camera, filled with emotions. Cross’ friend said the military veteran, widow, and Clemson University graduate was kind, independent, and a fun person.  

“I’m hoping they find out who took her and why. I mean it would give us some comfort,” Michael said.

In the meantime, those who knew her and those who found her are left with unanswered questions.

“I feel for them. I know they’re having a hard time, because I am too, as far as just finding her,” said Henry Holley, the man who found Cross.

“I just send my love and thoughts and prayers for the family, especially for her mom,” Maria said. “And I hope that she will be able to overcome this. It’s devastating.”

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office said this is an ongoing investigation, and detectives are working diligently to solve it. They want anyone with information to call them or Crimestoppers at 864-68-Crime.

The Anderson County Sheriff’s Office and the Anderson County Coroner’s Office are also investigating.

The Anderson County Coroner’s Office said an autopsy is set for Thursday.

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