New search yields more bones in Myrtle Beach area

akelley@thesunnews.comJanuary 1, 2014 

Another day of searching for two women reported missing in the Myrtle Beach area led to the finding of more bones, said Horry County Coroner Robert Edge.

Search parties looking around Tidewater Road found animal bones and more human bones Wednesday.

Edge said he did not believe a second skull was found, but said another arm and leg bone will be sent to an anthropologist in Charleston for an examination.

Bones found Saturday belong to an unidentified male at least 20 years old and are “definitely not Brittanee Drexel,” Edge said.

He said it is possible the additional remains found could belong to the same man because they were found in close proximity. The anthropologist could make that determination.

Edge said animals may have scattered the bones around the area, and none of the remains were together in skeleton form.

The first bones, which included a human skull, were found about 11 a.m. Saturday while a search party was looking for Heather Elvis, 20.

Pieces of a hip, the skull, and a couple longer bones were found strewn about the area, according to a police report. No clothing was found in the area and officials said in the report the bones appeared to have been in that area for a while.

Edge expects a report of the anthropologist’s findings in a week to 10 days. The bones are being sent to the University of Texas for DNA testing, which could take several weeks.

Meanwhile, Horry County police Lt. Robert Kegler said Wednesday that the investigation into the disappearance of Elvis and Jamie Lynn Cross, 24, continued and no new information was available for release.

Elvis was last seen about 2:30 a.m. Dec. 17, according to police. In a report filed late Dec. 19, a police officer on patrol saw Elvis’ vehicle parked at Peachtree boat landing and called her father, who is the vehicle’s owner. Her father said he last heard from Elvis about 10:43 p.m. Dec. 17 when she sent him a text message. There is a $20,000 reward for information about her whereabouts.

Terry Elvis said in a Facebook post written New Year’s Eve that Christmas presents remain wrapped under the tree for his daughter and that he won’t consider the year ended as long as she remains missing.

On Dec. 25, Jamie Lynn Cross, 24, of Myrtle Beach was reported missing after she was last seen two days earlier getting into a vehicle to go to dinner with a 31-year-old man, according to a police report. Cross had borrowed $35 from her brother and left about 4:30 p.m. that day.

In the report, police were told Cross had “done this before, but usually contacts someone within 24 hours” after she leaves.

Elvis is 5 feet 1 inch tall, weighs about 118 pounds and has brown hair and brown eyes.

Cross stands about 5-foot 11-inches tall, weighs more than 200 pounds and her hair was most recently neon pink.

The Grand Strand has several other open missing person cases:

• Zachary Malinowski was last seen Aug. 25 in Aynor and was last spoken to by phone about 12:15 a.m. Aug. 26. The 19-year-old played basketball with friends then went with one of the friends to a house on Seventh Avenue in Aynor, according to a press release from the Community United Effort (CUE) Center for Missing Persons. Malinowski left the house alone about 11:30 p.m. on Aug. 25, telling his friend he was getting something to eat. He hasn’t been seen since, the release stated.

His car, a 1996 Chevrolet Beretta, was found “completely burned” along Valley Forge Road, Kegler said. He was last seen wearing a red shirt, black gym shorts and either black and white flip flops or a pair of Air Jordan shoes. He is 6’1” and weighs about 150 pounds and has brown hair and brown eyes.

• In 2012, Georgia native Johnny Lamar Brown was reported missing by his family while vacationing in Myrtle Beach on Aug. 3 that year.

He told his family he was going to take a walk to the Family Kingdom Amusement Park while they were vacationing a few blocks south of the park in Myrtle Beach.

Brown hasn’t been seen since appearing on surveillance footage at a beachwear store in Surfside Beach on Aug. 3, 2012.

The family later learned he had tried calling their Cartersville, Ga. home. The last call came in about 9:30 a.m. Aug. 4 from Surfside Beach.

Brown was 45-years-old when his family last saw him. He is characterized as someone with special needs. He also has a stutter that can make communication difficult. His mother Ruby Brown explained his disability can cause him to get confused and disoriented. He stands about 5’6” and weighed about 146 pounds when his family last saw him.

• In 2009, Brittanee Marie Drexel was reported missing while on spring break in Myrtle Beach.

She was 17 when she was last seen leaving the Blue Water Hotel on Ocean Boulevard April 25, 2009.

Police and CUE officials began searching areas in Georgetown and Charleston counties after learning Drexel’s cellphone gave off its last known signal on April 26, 2009 in Georgetown County.

In August 2011, police searched a room at the Sunset Lodge on U.S. 17 near the Georgetown County Airport where someone identified as a person of interest had stayed. Police officials declined to comment on findings in that hotel room, and no new information has been released since.

At the time she was last seen, Drexel was 5 feet tall and weighed 103 pounds. She has brown hair and green eyes, but wore blue colored contact lenses.

• Crystal Gail Soles was 28 when she was reported missing from Andrews and was last seen Jan. 24, 2005.

• Kareem Jamaal Ward has been missing from Horry County since June 1, 2007. He was 23 at the time.

• Garret Hughes has been missing from Georgetown since Nov. 27, 2003. He was 44.

Anyone with information about Elvis, Cross, Malinowski or Ward can call 915-TIPS or email crimetips@horrycounty.org. Anyone with information on Drexel’s or Brown’s disappearance can call Myrtle Beach police at 918-1963. Anyone with information about Soles or Hughes can call 546-5101.

Contact AMANDA KELLEY at 626-0381, or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_akelley.

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