Deputies search for clues in 48-year-old killing of teen

Deputies search for clues in 48-year-old killing of teen
Deputies say Michael Steven Akey was abducted on June 24,1972. His skeletal remains were found in 1978. (Source: Beaufort County Sheriff's Office)

BEAUFORT, S.C. (WCSC) - It has been nearly half a century since deputies say a 14-year-old boy was abducted and killed in Beaufort County, but deputies are still trying to find his killer.

Michael Steven Akey, 14, was reportedly abducted by an unknown man on June 24, 1972, near a watermelon patch in the Burton area of Beaufort County.

Deputies say that at the time Akey was taken, he was in the company of two of his friends and all three were hitching a ride. They caught a ride with a man driving a 1962 or 1963 four-door Chevrolet.

Investigators say while two of the boys were stealing watermelons, the driver took off with Akey in the car. The boy was never seen alive again.

Akey’s friends couldn’t provide the driver’s identity.

Then on Feb. 8, 1978, workers who were clearing land near Whitehall Plantation on Lady’s Island found skeletal remains. A forensic pathologist and anthropologist used existing available technology and believed the remains were those of Akey. He was buried in the Beaufort National Cemetery. The remains would be exhumed in 2005 for a mitochondrial DNA analysis. The FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia, confirmed that the remains were those of Akey.

Akey’s killer has never been identified.

After 48 years, deputies say any detail about the case, no matter how insignificant it may seem, could provide a missing link they have been waiting for.

If you have any information on Akey’s disappearance or killing, contact Maj. Bob Bromage at 843-255-3402 or 843-816-8013. You can also call Crime Stoppers of the Lowcountry at 843-554-1111.

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