A cold case investigator is working to find out what happened in a brutal attack that left a veteran dead 26 years ago in South Carolina.
According to the Spartanburg Herald Journal, Jim Smith was brutally attacked by an unknown intruder when he arrived at his home on Dec. 3, 1987. Smith, 45, was hit several times in the head with a hammer; the wounds were so extensive Smith never regained consciousness. He died in the hospital about 4 months later, the paper reported.
Now, Allan Wood, a cold case investigator with the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office, said Smith’s murder is a case that stands out. Wood says someone knows something about why the crime was committed and who the murderer is.
"I'd like to think we talked to the person who did this, but I don't know," Wood told the paper.
Smith’s girlfriend arrived home first, according to reports cited by the paper. As she walked through the door, she was hit by someone. When Smith came home later, he also was attacked.
According to a Herald-Journal article from July 5, 1988, police said that for about an hour, the man alternated between beating Smith and raping his girlfriend.
Smith’s girlfriend eventually was able to escape and got help.
Investigators found Smith, bloody and unconscious, on the kitchen floor, the paper reported.
Smith was taken to a hospital, where he underwent brain surgery, but died of his injuries four and half months later.
Now investigators are asking for the public’s help in solving the case. Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 1-888-CRIMESC or Investigator Allan Wood at 864-503-4577.