Thank you, law enforcement, for caring, dedication | Opinion | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | December 7, 2015 4:06 pm
There’s a television show called “Cold Case” where investigators solve decades-old cases that everyone else has given up on. That only happens in the movies, right?
Not this week. This week it happened right here in Walterboro. Officers from the Walterboro Police Department, led by Investigator Gean Johnson, have made an arrest in the 1978 murder of Elaine Fogle, a case that has haunted many city residents for years.
Fogle was not the type to be murdered — a quiet type, good grades in school, a nurse. The murder was brutal and came at a time in Walterboro’s history when murders were almost unheard of.
Her family has suffered for all these years, wondering what happened to their loved one. In fact, a relative contacted The Press in May of this year, despairing that the 37th anniversary of the murder was approaching, and still her killer had not been identified. We contacted the Walterboro Police, and they said they were working on it. They told the truth. New technology opened doors that were closed to officers in the 1970s.
And now, thanks to the efforts of local law enforcement, the family can at least know that someone may be held accountable for their loss. A suspect is in custody and a conviction is possible.
The resolution of this case is testimony to the dedication and quality of the officers that we have in our city and county. They made the effort to solve this case and give the family whatever measure of peace they can have in finally knowing someone has been arrested for killing their loved one. Working with 37-year-old evidence could not have been easy — in fact, some of the officers who worked to solve this case were probably not even born when Fogle was killed.
But they cared anyway. They wanted to see the case closed, both for the family and for the community. Johnson has dedicated his life to protecting and serving with 23 years as an officer. Rita Shuler, one of the SLED officers who worked the original case, helped Johnson, even through she is now retired. SLED, the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, former SLED Agents Travis Avant and Chad Caldwell, former Sheriff Alan Beach, Sheriff L.C. Knight, former WPD Detective Earl Fowler, Chief Wade Marvin, Asst. Chief Kevin Martin and many others all worked on the evidence over the years. But this time brought success.
We are very, very lucky to have such a caring, devoted, dedicated force protecting our community.