Mother of murdered sailor opens up after 24 years

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Carmela Cameron, the mother of murdered sailor Beth Ann Cameron, said her daughter's cold case is heating back up after 24 years. Beth Ann Cameron was stationed on the USS Holland at the old Charleston Naval Base. She was last seen Dec. 17, 1987 at an apartment complex close to where her body was found.

"It's painful to talk about," Cameron said Tuesday when asked about the case. "It brings up a lot of memories, but I hope they can find out who did it."

Beth Ann Cameron was 24 years old when North Charleston police found her body off Greenridge Road on Jan. 1, 1988. Detectives are now heating the cold case back up after learning new information linking the sailor with an escort service that used to be in North Charleston.

"We got some new information about an escort service that may have been affiliated to the weapons station called Sugar and Spice," said Sgt. James Hill, the lead detective in the case. "We're trying to locate anyone that may have knowledge of that escort service or someone who worked there."

Cameron said her daughter joined the Navy shortly after the family moved from Tennessee to Alabama. Cameron's other daughter, Donna, produced a documentary of her sister's death. In it she said she's not convinced the body found by law enforcement even belonged to her sister.

"Detectives called me and told me they found out new information," Carmela Cameron said. "That's really all I know."

Since her body was found in 1988, detectives say DNA testing has greatly advanced. So much so that they are resending all old evidence found when the case began back to labs to see if any new DNA can be found.

"These items that may have DNA on them that we couldn't get before may now show something others missed," Hill said.

Hill added that he is very hopeful something will turn up from the new lead and the new DNA results.

"It's too painful. I just want it solved. I need our mine and my family's minds put to rest. We need closure," said Cameron.

Now, detectives are focused on finding people who may have any information on Cameron.

"Even if they didn't know her some information could still be helpful. If they served between 1986 to 1989, they may know something that could help us. The hard part is finding those people," Hill said.

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