Nov. 14 Update: Lawyers representing the Myrtle Beach Mall are arguing that Horry County Police did not turn over a request file into the murder of Francis “Mae” Davis. Lawyers on behalf of Myrtle Beach Mall filed the request asking for the judge to force Horry County Police to produce the information.
Horry County police wrongfully withheld case file information in a civil case related to the shooting of a 78-year-old woman in the Myrtle Beach Mall parking lot, lawyers say.
Attorneys representing the Myrtle Beach Mally said they asked Horry County police in October 2017 for the investigative file into the January 2016 murder of Frances “Mae” Davis’ . In November 2017, the agency produced a file riddled with redactions and missing pages.
Davis was killed in the parking lot of the Myrtle Beach Mall, where she was found slumped over the front passenger seat of her car with her purse missing. The shooting happened the day before her 79th birthday. Horry police have not made an arrest.
The case is listed as administratively closed and considered a cold case, according to Horry County police documents.
Davis’ daughter filed a civil suit against the mall and others for not providing adequate security.
According to court records, Mall lawyers subpoenaed Horry County police for the investigative file. Much of the file was redacted, including names of witnesses.
When lawyers asked for a list of information withheld, county officials only would say “thousands of pages of documents withheld,” according to court records.
Horry County spokeswoman Kelly Brosky also told attorneys in an email the documents were withheld because it would interfere with law enforcement and potentially could compromise an active investigation. That email was included in recent court filings.
The Mall’s lawyers say the case file information is relevant to the civil proceedings. For example, witnesses could say if they noticed anything suspicious the day of the shooting.
Horry County police also can’t hide behind Freedom of Information Act exemptions, Mall lawyers argue.
“HCPD had over two and a half years to investigate this incident without finding a suspect,” the filing reads. “The fact that the HCPD administratively closed this case shows there would be no premature release of evidence.”
The Mall asked a judge to order HCPD to provide the full file or to turn it over to the court for judicial review.
Horry County Spokeswoman Kelly Moore did not respond for comment in time for this report.