CHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (CN2 NEWS) — This September marks the one-year anniversary since Melissa Whitis, 31, was found brutally murdered, burned and left in a ditch on Lizzie Melton Road in Richburg.
So far no arrests have been made in her case.
When Whitis’ body was discovered by a driver on September 20, 2019, because of its state, detectives couldn’t use traditional methods like DNA samples and fingerprints to identify her. They released an image of a distinct tattoo Whitis had in hopes it would help identify her.
Eventually, the Chester County Sheriff’s Office says it traced the serial number of a medical device implanted in Whitis’ head to an address in Frankfurt, Kentucky. That’s where her mother, Rosetta Turner, learned the news her daughter was killed.
“It was awful. I can’t describe it. It was just so painful,” remembers Rosetta.
Melissa was a mom and a college graduate, says Rosetta. Her daughter was a success story until she started dealing with personal struggles a few years ago, recalls Rosetta.
“She was just dealing with things in her mind that I don’t understand, but Melissa was a good person,” says Rosetta, “Nobody deserves to die like my daughter did.”
Expect for a trip to Florida when she was a child, Rosetta says Melissa never left the state of Kentucky. The last time her family saw Melissa was when she kissed her daughter good-bye, and promised to be back.
“I don’t know who she left with. I didn’t even know she was going to a place where we have no family.”
Her mom believes Melissa’s good heart led her to trust the wrong person. Now she stays up at night knowing her daughter’s killer is out there.
“I won’t stop until he’s caught,” says Rosetta, “I am Melissa’s voice.”
Chester County detectives say before she died, Melissa was spotted in Virginia; Mocksville, North Carolina; and, finally, in South Carolina. She was last seen wearing a knee brace, yellow pants and a grey overcoat.
“It’s horrific to see a human body discarded in a ditch,” said Chester County Sheriff Max Dorsey in an interview last year, “She was someone that was cared for and she cared for other people.”
Sheriff Dorsey says Melissa’s case is an active investigation.