Missing Man Found Shot to Death in His Own Trunk

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By NTD Newsroom
April 8, 2019US News
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Missing Man Found Shot to Death in His Own Trunk
(Stock photo by MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

WALTERBORO, South Carolina—Authorities say that a 22-year-old missing man has been found shot to death in the trunk of his own car.

Deputies in Colleton County, South Carolina, said that Derrick Rhodes’s body and car was found Tuesday afternoon, April 2, at a boat landing in Yemassee.

He had already been reported missing for about a day and was last seen Monday afternoon, April 1, leaving in a black 2014 Honda Accord Coupe with another male.

Rhodes’ mother, Asperita Wright, got worried when her son didn’t return home. She repeatedly called him, but the phone went unanswered and later became unreachable.

“She told the deputy handling the missing person report that it was not like her son to ignore her phone calls for the six hours between when she had last seen him and when she made the missing person report,” Walterborolive reported.

Wright told WCSC-TV on April 5 that she believes someone may have information on who killed her son and is asking anyone with information to please talk to the deputies.

A missing man found shot dead in the trunk of his own car at a boat landing.We talk to the mother tonight on Live 5 News at 6.

Posted by Live 5 News on Friday, April 5, 2019

“I feel if enough people come forward and don’t be afraid that the people who need to be behind bars could be behind bars. Because next time it could be your child,” Wright said.

Wright said her husband died on Dec. 31, making Rhodes’s passing even harder to bear.

“I do want some answers. I mean, I lost my husband on New Year’s Eve and now I have to go through this,” Wright said.

Update: https://abcnews4.com/news/local/sheriffs-office-missing-colleton-county-man-found-dead-foul-play-suspected

Posted by Justice For Erica Kiana on Tuesday, April 2, 2019

No report has been released to say if the male who was last seen with Rhodes is a suspect in the investigation, but investigators say they suspect foul play.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Sheriff’s office at 843 549 2211.

Missing Persons

Over 600,000 people go missing in the United States every year, according to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System.

Many of the missing adults and children are found safe but others are never found or are found dead.

“It is estimated that 4,400 unidentified bodies are recovered each year, with approximately 1,000 of those bodies remaining unidentified after one year,” the center stated.

As of Jan. 22, there were 15,325 open missing person cases in addition to 12,449 open unidentified person cases.

As of Dec. 31, 2017, the National Crime Information Center had over 88,000 active missing person cases across the country. But hundreds of thousands of cases were resolved that year.

Approximately 651,000 missing person records were entered but about the same number were removed.

“Reasons for these removals include: a law enforcement agency located the subject, the individual returned home, or the record had to be removed by the entering agency due to a determination that the record is invalid,” the center stated.

The first 72 hours in a missing persons case is the most critical, according to criminology experts. That’s partly because investigators have the best chance of following up on leads before people’s memories start to fade, Dr. Bryanna Fox, former FBI agent and criminology professor at the University of South Florida, told ABC News.

“The information that law enforcement gets tends to be a little more accurate, and they are able to act on the information and hopefully get that person who is missing quicker,” Fox said. Later, there are fewer “bread crumbs,” or leads, to follow.

Dr. Michelle Jeanis, criminology professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, said that time is of the essence because the missing person could be in danger.

After about a week, the person could very likely be dead, said former FBI Special Agent in Charge Steve Gomez. “There’s a certain point after about a week or two where you have to think, the potential that the missing person is dead and now it’s a matter of trying to find their body and bring closure to the family and to determine if you now have a homicide investigation, or suicide, or some kind of accidental death,” he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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