CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The investigation into the torture and murder of a Charleston woman was international in scope. Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen spoke about the harsh criticism leveled at his department by private investigators in the Kate Waring case.
"We were dealing with international law enforcement. We were dealing with people in other countries, following every lead presented to us," Chief Mullen said talking about his department's work on the high profile Kate Waring case.
The 28-year-old Charleston woman disappeared in June of 2009. While her family searched for her, pictures of the young woman were released showing her in different parts of the world.
While Charleston police were chasing leads around the world, private investigators found the woman's remains on Wadmalaw Island. Two different sets of investigators and two different results.
"We understand that there's different techniques and different requirements between what private investigators are allowed to do legally and what police officers are allowed to do legally," Chief Mullen said.
The team of private investigators, led by attorney Andy Savage, contend that city police did not know where the prime suspect lived and that private investigators solved the case. Savage called the police department indifferent.
"I do not feel that we were indifferent. Like I said we had multiple detectives working this case for months. I met personally with the family and their advisors on a number of cases and we followed every lead that we had," Chief Mullen said.
Chief Mullen agreed to talk with Live 5 but would not answer specific questions because suspect Heather Kamp has yet to be sentenced. But the chief said repeatedly that his officers have guidelines to follow.
"How the private investigators do it, I would not even venture to say and probably don't want to know," Chief Mullen said.
The chief did respond to some specifics like remarks by Andy Savage.
Savage said,"The chief of police told a grieving father that the police department was too involved in solving real crime. Murders, armed robberies and rapes. That they didn't have the time or resources to spend on this case."
Chief Mullen responded by saying, "I contacted Tom Waring and asked him if at any time during this case did I tell him that this was not important, that the Charleston Police Department was too busy for this case or that we considered missing person cases not serious. And he told me that at no time did I leave him with that impression."
As for the investigation, the chief says they followed the law to avoid issues in court.
"I would feel very confident to say if Mr. Savage was the defense attorney on the other side of the table and we did anything that violated in a case he was involved in that he would clearly bring those up as a defense," Chief Mullen said.