Family of missing woman celebrate her 78th birthday while search continues

Over four months after a woman was reported missing from Berkeley County, her family gathered Sunday to celebrate her 78th birthday and continue to pray for her
Published: Nov. 27, 2022 at 9:17 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 27, 2022 at 11:39 PM EST
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PINEVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - Over four months after a woman was reported missing from Berkeley County, her family gathered Sunday to celebrate her 78th birthday and continue to pray for her safe return.

Ruth Jenkins, who suffers from dementia, was last seen on July 16 walking along Highway 45 in the Pineville area.

Ruth Jenkins, 76, has been missing since July 16 from the Pineville area. Deputies say she...
Ruth Jenkins, 76, has been missing since July 16 from the Pineville area. Deputies say she suffers from dementia and is known to wander.(Earline Pressley)

Traveling from all around the country, her family met in Pineville to release 78 birthday balloons and share their favorite memories as they continue to search for answers. Three of her sons, Bobby, Radrego and Rastrado Jenkins held back tears as they reflect on her life.

“I miss momma; it hurts my heart not to see her right now,” Radrego said. “I am not saying that she’s gone, she’s not, but just not seeing her right now, it gets me at times.”

“We love her a lot and I’m glad everybody was able to come and bring up the good memories and talk about all the positives because she was a bright light,” Bobby said. “Momma is a bright light to us and is very creative, and very funny. That’s who she is and she impacted everybody here, you know, a lasting effect.”

Ruth’s siblings, Albert Jackson, Mary Cunningham and Freedonia Drakeford continue to pray for her safe return. Drakeford asked for the public’s help in finding her.

“We just want you to come and tell us where you have her,” Drakeford said. “Please let us know her whereabouts; please let her know where she is so we could bring her home. I believe that she’s alive, but we just need to know where she is.”

Detectives have interviewed all family members, witnesses and folks in the community that knew her, according to Berkeley County Sheriff Duane Lewis.

Lewis has previously stated there is no sign of foul play in this case.

Bobby and his wife, Kim Jenkins, traveled from San Antonio, Texas, to celebrate her birthday and bring their family together.

“To touch her, to hug her, to love on her; that is what we deserve, that is what she was put here for, and that is what we want,” Jenkins said. “So if you know something, if you’ve seen something, if you’ve heard something, just let us know.”

The sheriff’s office said they have no updates on the search for Ruth.