Officials ID woman who washed ashore in Myrtle Beach in May 2013

Robin Ann Kelly
Robin Ann Kelly Myrtle Beach police

Local officials identified a woman Monday who washed ashore in Myrtle Beach more than two years ago.

Robin Ann Kelly, 56, of Raleigh, N.C., was identified as the woman who washed ashore near 24th Avenue South in Myrtle Beach on May 5, 2013, according to Lt. Joey Crosby with Myrtle Beach police.

Kelly’s death was ruled a drowning in 2013, according to the Horry County Coroner’s Office.

Myrtle Beach police, Horry County Coroner’s Office and several other local agencies launched an investigation to identify the woman, who was found wearing a bathing suit and had a unique tattoo on her outer left ankle, Crosby said. The victim did not have any other forms of identification, and police didn’t find any other identifying objects in her general area at the time, Crosby said.

Hundreds of leads from all over the country were investigated, Crosby said, but police still couldn’t identify the body. The victim’s dental records and DNA was entered into a national database, he said.

Then, in October, a new tip led to the identity of Kelly.

“A news outlet did a recent story about the case, and as a result of that extra media attention it was aired in N.C. and someone from the family recognized the markings of the victim,” Crosby said. “They called police and we investigated that lead.”

Contact was made with the possible family members and police took DNA samples, which was positively matched to the victim’s DNA, Crosby said.

“There’s some good closure for the family now,” Crosby said.

Claire Byun: 843-626-0381, @Claire_TSN