ORANGEBURG COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - The Orangeburg County sheriff released criminal profiles of the likely killers of four people in Holly Hill and said a task force has been formed to find them.
Among the 22 findings, authorities believe the murders were committed by two or more people, and at least one of them knew 28-year-old Krystal Hutto, one of the victims of the July 15 murders.
"This was a planned event," Ravenell said. "This was not a random act of violence. At least one person knew the outcome would be murder."
Hutto, Shamekia Sanders, 17; Tamara Perry, 14; and Jerome Butler, 50; were found shot to death at a home on Old State Road. A fifth victim, an eight-year-old boy, was also shot but found alive and airlifted to a hospital.
Ravenell said the offenders are more likely not to be married. If they live with somebody, they are not accountable for their whereabouts, he said. At least one of the killers had access to a vehicle, the one they used to drive to and from the home. A Mercedes stolen from the home and later found burned in Vance suggests one or more of the killers is familiar with that area, he said.
"[The vehicle] fire did not destroy all of the evidence," he said.
Ravenell said the offenders likely possess a high school education or less, but have a lot of "street smarts." They likely have burglary, assault and battery and possibly other more violent crimes on their records, he said.
Ravenell said his office has partnered with the State Law Enforcement Division, the FBI and U.S. Marshal's Service to find the killers.
"This case is not standing still," Ravenell, flanked by deputies and members of the other agencies, said at a Wednesday morning news conference. "It's moving and it won't stop."
Ravenell said the father of the children who were killed, Christopher Wright, is not talking to investigators. Wright was arrested shortly after the murders on drug charges.
"We're not wasting any more time talking to him," he said.
Here is the full profile of the likely killers of four people in Holly Hill, according to investigators:
- The crime was committed by two or more offenders.
- At least one of the offenders is familiar with both Krystal Hutto and her habits, and that she lived at 7050 Old State Road in Holly Hill.
- This was a planned event; it was not a random act of violence.
- At least one of the offenders knew the outcome of the event would be murder.
- The offenders were male and had some connections to the area where the car was located.
- The offenders will most likely not be married; however, if they do live with someone they are not accountable to that person for their whereabouts.
- At least one of the offenders has access to a vehicle; the manner and location of this murder would have dictated that they have or had access to a vehicle.
- The offenders' level of education would be high school or less, but they would possess "street smarts."
- The offenders will have a criminal history for burglary and assault and battery and possibly other types of violent crimes.
- The offenders will most likely not have a legitimate job, and are likely involved in criminal activity to get by.
- At least one of the offenders took the Mercedes to an area that they would feel safe.
- One of the offenders is familiar with the area where the Mercedes was found burned.
- The offenders knew they would not stand out in that area because they are familiar with the area.
- It is possible the followers may have gone to the residence with the leader unaware they were going to be participating in a quadruple murder.
- The leader will be described as self-confident, a "take control" personality, lack of empathy, aggressive and self-absorbed.
- This leader, because of his lack of empathy, has little to no problem with violence and is quick to act.
- As with most deadly encounters involving more than one offender, when law enforcement gets close, the leader will come to realize that the followers are a liability and need to be dealt with to protect himself.
- Their comments most likely will be non-committal, asking others for their opinion on how or why it happened and whom they suspect may have committed the crime.
- They may also ask if the authorities have contacted them and what they told investigators.
- Those changes may include anxiety, differences in food consumption, drug or alcohol use/abuse and changes in sleeping habits and patterns.
- The fear of identification has become a "heavy burden" that is becoming all-consuming for the killers.
- They continue to pose a danger to friends and family members close to them. They may strike out unpredictably against those around them, particularly if they think that the person or persons may suspect them of the crime.
The sheriff also said a toll-free number has been set up for any information about the murders. Anyone with information on the murders should call (888) 825-7172. According to Ravenell, five billboards with that number will be posted around Orangeburg County.
A reward of $5,000 is being offered for information leading to an arrest.