GAFFNEY, SC (WSPA) – An Upstate mother was in tears over her daughter’s death.
“I just miss my baby. I just miss her,” said Latoria Dowdle. “She was a loving daughter.”
More than 21 months after her daughter Drenika Hopper was shot dead, a suspect has been charged with her killing.
“I’ve been waiting so long and it’s been frustrating,” Dowdle said.
Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a home on Morris Drive in Gaffney on January 8, 2017. They found Hopper inside the home unresponsive with a gunshot wound.
“We had to wait for some lab work to be performed, tests to be done by the state Law Enforcement Division as well as getting phone records from multiple people,” said Cherokee County Sheriff Steve Mueller. “To make the charge of murder, which is one of the most serious anybody can be charged with, we wanted to make sure it was right. There is no textbook answer on how fast a case should be made.”
Loved ones gathered in Gaffney to honor Hopper’s life Wednesday after Joshua Mosley was charged with her murder earlier in the day. The coroner says Hopper was shot in the head.
“In the bond hearing he alluded to the fact that Miss Hopper may have committed suicide and I will tell you that that’s not the case,” Mueller said. “Typically what you see is a person commits suicide, the people find the person, they call law enforcement, medical personnel – people don’t start taking things out of the home to hide or destroy evidence.”
The sheriff says Mosley tried to get rid of evidence under a bridge off Pacolet Highway the day of the shooting, but investigators found and processed the evidence that same day.
“We know that he made phone calls to certain individuals that our investigators found during the investigation and that he admitted he’d shot her,” said Mueller. “We’re confident our guys made the right charge.”
The victim’s relatives were in the courtroom for Mosley’s bond hearing.
“There was no remorse. He completely faulted us for even believing he could do something like that to her and that just built up in us so much more anger,” said Hopper’s uncle Maxamillian Jefferies, who recalled Hopper’s smile and ‘love for life’ personality. “It was complete coldness. It was someone who doesn’t have a sense of morality. It was heartless.”
Mosley is charged with murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime. He’s been in jail for more than 300 days also charged with burglary and obstruction of justice.
“We discovered through the investigation – talking to the property owner/landlord of the home – that he had not rented the home to Mr. Mosley or any of the other people that were there that day so we were able to charge him [Mosley] with Burglary first,” Sheriff Mueller said.
Relatives said the charges were bittersweet as they’re still grieving Hopper’s death.
“I don’t wish that on nobody – no parent to bury their child.. I just don’t wish that on nobody. It’s hard. Everyday,” said Dowdle. “I’m just glad he’s finally being charged.”