Man Charged in 1988 Michigan Slaying Dies in South Carolina Jail

Man Charged in 1988 Michigan Slaying Dies in South Carolina Jail
Robert Waters. (Beaufort County Jail)

THREE RIVERS, Mich.—A man who was arrested last month in the 1988 stabbing and strangulation of a Michigan woman has died in a South Carolina jail, where he was awaiting extradition to face a murder charge, authorities said.

Police in Three Rivers, Michigan, said they were told Saturday about the death of Robert Waters, 53, at the detention center in Beaufort County, South Carolina.

Waters was arrested April 30 after investigators used genealogical data to narrow the list of suspects to his family, authorities said. He was charged in the killing of 19-year-old Cathy Sue Swartz in Three Rivers, which is in southwestern Michigan about 136 miles southwest of Detroit.

Prosecutor David Martin said Waters had waived extradition to Michigan.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is investigating Waters’ death, the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office said Sunday. No other details were released.

Swartz was stabbed and strangled in her apartment. Her death had long been a cold case, despite blood, fingerprints, and footprints at the scene that investigators believed belonged to her killer.

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