Police blotter for December 29th-January 4th

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Car crashes into home, causes extensive damage

Firefighters from the city of Beaufort/Port Royal Fire Department responded to an incident on Dec. 24 when a vehicle was driven into a house on Ivy Lane.

The damage from the vehicle caused an approximately 8-by-12 foot hole to the front of the home.

When firefighters arrived on scene, the vehicle that ran into the house had already left the scene.

Due to the structural and electrical hazards, South Carolina Electric and Gas personnel were brought in to secure power to the home.

There were no injuries reported.

Firefighters stayed on scene and placed plywood over the hole in the residence for the homeowners.

Two men charged in September murder

William Omar Heyward
William Omar Heyward
Ishmael Allen Rivers
Ishmael Allen Rivers

Two men have been arrested in the murder of Benjamin Campbell, 61, whose body was found on the side of Stanley Farm Road in Burton on the morning of Sept. 27.

A forensic autopsy performed at the Medical University of South Carolina the following day determined Campbell died from multiple gunshot wounds.

Over the next several weeks Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office investigators developed persons of interest through witnesses and numerous items of evidence they submitted for analysis at the Sheriff’s Office Forensic Services Laboratory.

Investigators obtained warrants for the arrest of Ishmael Allen Rivers, 18, for murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime; and the arrest of William Omar Heyward, 36, for accessory after the fact of murder. Both men are from Burton.

Sheriff’s office investigators served Heyward with the arrest warrant at the Beaufort County Detention Center, where he was being held on unrelated charges.

Rivers turned himself in at the Beaufort County Detention Center and was arrested there by sheriff’s office deputies.

Human remains found on Spanish Wells Road

Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a report on Dec. 24 of human remains found by a citizen in a wooded area off of Spanish Wells Road on Hilton Head Island.

When deputies arrived and confirmed the remains were human, sheriff’s office investigators, crime scene unit and coroner’s office personnel responded.

The identity of the dead person and cause/manner of death were not apparent due to the condition of the remains.

The Beaufort County Coroner’s Office was scheduling a forensic autopsy to be performed at the Medical University of South Carolina.

Additional information was not available at press time.

Sheriff’s office looking at 1977 cold case

James Homer Aldridge
James Homer Aldridge

The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in solving a 1977 murder.

On Feb. 25, James Homer Aldridge, 49, was discovered dead in his vehicle off of S.C. 170 in Bluffton.

Initially it was believed he died of injuries sustained in a single-car accident since his pickup truck crashed into a tree off of the road. However, further examination revealed he had been shot prior to striking the tree.

During the ensuing investigation, it was learned Aldridge traveled frequently to Jacksonville, Fla., from Beaufort for work and may have picked up hitchhikers. It was established the fatal gunshot wounds originated from the passenger side of the pick-up truck.

No suspects have been identified.

A reward of up to $2,500 is being offered for information leading to an arrest.

To provide any information regarding this unsolved cold case, contact Capt. Bob Bromage at 843-255-3402, 843-816-8013 or robertb@bcgov.net or Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC (274-6372).

Two wrecks take place on Broad River Bridge

The Burton Fire District responded to two vehicle accidents on the Broad River Bridge in two days, resulting in one occupant being transported to Beaufort Memorial Hospital.

The first wreck was reported just after 9:30 p.m. Dec. 18.

Burton fire crews arrived to a single-vehicle accident in the northbound lane of the bridge. Two occupants, including a child, were unrestrained but uninjured in the collision. The female driver was taken into custody by the SC Highway Patrol. One northbound lane was blocked for approximately 30 minutes.

The second wreck occurred just before 1 a.m. Dec. 20, also in the northbound lane of the Broad River Bridge involving a passenger vehicle and a pickup truck. The driver of the passenger vehicle was temporarily trapped. Once removed by firefighters, the driver was transported to Beaufort Memorial Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The Burton Fire District has responded to six motor vehicle accidents on the Broad River Bridge in 2016. Burton fire officials encourage motorists who have mechanical difficulties with their vehicle to pull to the side of the roadway.

Sheriff’s office looking for forgery suspect

The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office is attempting to identify a person in possession of a stolen credit card.

On Dec. 16, a vehicle was broken into at 1476 Fording Island Road, and the victim’s credit cards were stolen.

The credit card was used at the Enmark at 1010 Fording Island Road.

The suspects were in a dark blue or black four-door sedan, possibly a Nissan or Honda.

If you have any information or saw this incident, contact Cpl. Calore at 843-255-3411 or Beaufort County Dispatch at 843-524-2777.

Bluffton looking for car break-in suspects

Bluffton police are looking into seven cases where cars were broken into and items stolen from the unlocked vehicles on Dec. 18-19 in Pine Ridge, Pinecrest and The Farm.

All the affected vehicles were parked in the owner’s driveway or in front of their home.

“I believe people have a false sense of security when their car is parked in their driveway,” said Bluffton Police Chief Joey Reynolds. “I’m urging all residents to lock your vehicle regardless of where it is parked. It is also wise to take weapons and electronics inside. This way, it won’t entice a thief to break-into your car.”

One of the vehicles had a gun stolen out of it, while the other vehicles had cash and electronics stolen.

If you have any information about these car break-ins, call the Bluffton Police Department tip line at 843-706-4560.

Man faces multiple marijuana-related charges

Bryan Nolen
Bryan Nolen

A Bluffton Police officer conducted a traffic stop on Dec. 20 on Bluffton Parkway resulted in the seizure of drugs, drug paraphernalia and a large amount of cash, according to a police report.

Bryan Nolen, 34, was pulled over on a traffic violation. Once the officer approached Nolen in the vehicle, she smelled a strong odor of marijuana, the report states.

Nolen’s insurance was expired, and his registration was for a different vehicle. A search of the vehicle was conducted and a backpack was found in the back seat. Police say that inside was a scale with marijuana residue, zip-lock bags containing marijuana, cups with marijuana residue and a large amount of cash.

Nolen was arrested and taken to the Beaufort County Detention Center. He is charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.