Aunt remembers murdered St. Stephen niece

Murder victim's aunt remembers niece

GOOSE CREEK, SC (WCSC) - She is the youngest victim in a shocking double murder. 18-year-old Dana Woods had just begun to find her way in life before her untimely death.

For Woods' aunt, Maguerite Platt,  her niece was far from being just the image of a murder victim on a television screen.

"So many people just see her as this face," said  Platt. "They don't know anything about her. They don't know that there's a family who's grieving for her. She's just somebody in the news."

"I mean this kid had so much going for her, so ambitious, so driven," said Platt. "Perfect kid really and I know that sounds so corny. But it's true and someone took that from her."

Platt describes Woods as an adventurous tomboy, who could turn her heel as a girly girl when needed.

Woods loved animals and joking with others. Her personality shines through in a Facebook video when she removes the nose ring family members had harassed her for having.

Woods was a student at Trident Technical College and had plans to become a lawyer before it was all taken away.

"I believe for Dana's part she was in the wrong place at the wrong time," said Platt of Woods' murder. "She was not one to hurt anybody or run with people who do that, she didn't tolerate that."

For Platt robbery makes no sense as the motive for her niece's murder. Woods had two jobs. She sold Avon and worked at a pizza place.

"She's not loaded up with cash," said Platt. "She's not full of possessions in her car.  I mean there's nothing logical."

The only thing making sense now, the message in a tattoo Woods got a month before her murder.

"Her tattoo was in French and it said just smile, and I think that's Dana no matter what she was go through she could push through and just smile," said Platt. "That's the way she looked at life and I'm determined to do the same."

That very tattoo would later help family members identify the body of Woods.

According to Platt the Woods family did not know Caleb Matlock or Arthur Ray Chavis.

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