GREENVILLE, S.C. – Authorities say they have issued arrest warrants for murder, rape and kidnapping against a Tennessee man in the death of a Clemson University student strangled with her bikini top.
Jerry Buck Inman's DNA matched samples taken from Tiffany Marie Souers' apartment, State Law Enforcement Division Chief Robert Stewart said Tuesday night.
Inman has not been arrested. He is considered extremely dangerous and is likely in a green Chevrolet Camaro or an Econoline van, prosecutor Bob Ariail said.
Authorities said the construction worker is a registered sex offender from Tennessee although that information couldn't be immediately confirmed on the Internet.
Inman also had a felony record from North Carolina and Florida, but Stewart wouldn't elaborate. Ariail did say that he still thinks this is the first time the suspect has killed someone.
"We now have a face to go with this crime, a name, a physical description, a vehicle, which gives the public some degree of confidence," Ariail said. "And hopefully we'll begin to develop those types things about where he was, why here was here, what he was doing, what kind of work he was doing, who he was connected with."
Souers' body was discovered about 12 hours after authorities think the junior was killed in her off-campus apartment early on May 26.
Souers, a 20-year-old civil engineering junior from Ladue, Mo., was wearing only a bra when she was found on her bedroom floor a few miles from campus. The bikini top was still around her neck.
Photos of the suspect at an ATM machine trying unsuccessfully to use Souers' card were released last week, but the man's face was covered mostly in bandanas. The surveillance photos also captured a sport utility vehicle, which authorities think may have belonged to the suspect.
Police set up a tip line last week and received more than 200 calls.
The Souers family in suburban St. Louis was happy to hear authorities had found a suspect, Souers' 16-year-old brother, Trevor, said.
"He looks like an ugly person. That's the first thought that came to my head. There's a sense of relief, but of course, anger. It just brings up all these thoughts and emotions," he said.
Faith Clark, director of a charity where Tiffany Souers volunteered, came to the Tuesday news conference to find out who killed the woman she called focused and driven.
"It's a relief. But I just hope they find this person," Clark said.