Calhoun County Sheriff Thomas Summers announced the arrests of three men in connection with the disappearance and murder of an Orangeburg teenager. Sheriff Summers said Bryant McKnight, 28, of St. Matthews,More >>
Calhoun County sheriff's deputies say a 17-year-old girl has been killed by two brothers who thought she set them up to be robbed.More >>
CALHOUN COUNTY, SC (WIS) -
Authorities say more arrests may be coming following the discovery of the body of a 17-year-old girl who went missing last week in a creek near the Orangeburg/Calhoun County line Friday.
Calhoun County Sheriff Thomas Summers said the body of Kymmara Randolph was found in a creek on Four Holes Road outside of Cameron in the Midway community late Friday afternoon.
Summers said Randolph's body had more than one gunshot wound. Coroner Donnie Porth said she was shot more than five times, but did not disclose the exact number of gunshot wounds she suffered.
"Our priorities were to bring peace to Kymmara's family," Summers said. "This case is complex and still an active investigation and still ongoing, we still have numerous people of interest that we need to talk to and interview and there will be possibly more arrests. After just a day or so into the investigation we realized that Kymmara had been killed and we were looking for her body."
Summers said Randolph was killed on February 13 by two brothers in retaliation to a robbery.
"This killing was a retaliatory-type killing," Summers said. "The McKnights mother's house was invaded a week or so ago by masked men that came to rob them and made threats to their mother. These people for some reason thought Kymmara had something to do with it and they pretty much planned to do harm to this girl."
Bryant McKnight, 28, and Jerry McKnight, 45, were charged Thursday with Randolph's murder.
"These two guys that murdered Kymmara have no method of transportation," Summers said. "So they are basically bumming rides, so when you are going to and from a scene like this, these people that are aiding you are obviously going to be charged and as we've investigated, the further we go we find more people that have assisted them one way or another in the killing of this young girl."
Jonathan McKnight, 20, Sandra Hughes, 53, and Derrick Sumter, 28, were also arrested and charged with aiding the McKnight brothers, Summers said.
Authorities said Sumter led police to Randolph's body Friday. Chief Deputy Tim Stephenson said deputies believe Sumter got rid of the murder weapon, which has still not been
Bryant and Jerry were formally charged in a Calhoun County courtroom Thursday night, where Randolph's family came face-to-face with the men for the first time.
In video provided to WIS by the Orangeburg Times and Democrat, Randolph's mother screamed at the pair as they were taken away.
"Tell me where my baby is at, tell me where my baby is at!" she cried as the two men smiled at her.
Summers said Bryant was familiar with Kymmara through a mutual friend and the murder happened shortly after Kymmara went with the McKnight brothers on Feb. 13.
"The murder did take place probably within 7 or 8 hours of her leaving Orangeburg," Summers said. "She was not kidnapped; she went willingly with these people… She was invited more or less to come to party with them. And that was the pretense that they went over there and got her."
After following several leads that took deputies all throughout the county, Kymmara's body was found when a dive team went into the water near Four Holes Rd.
"In the beginning it was like looking for a needle and a haystack because we had developed the information, we were just following leads that took us all over the county," Summers said. "In fact we even used the helicopter for two days to fly over theses vast areas. This creek is a relatively big creek, but it's deep and there was just no way we could do it from land visually so we needed divers to go into the water."
Summers said the brothers share equally responsibility for the murder of Kymmara.
"Bryant and Jerry are both charged with firing the shots," Summers said. "Both share equally in the murder of Kymmara."