Crime

Funeral plans made for bank robbery victims

Pastor: Even in grief, we have hope

Pastor Kaleb Dees at NewSpring Church says Donna Major was very loving and compassionate. Major was one of two women killed in a Conway bank robbery Monday. Officials are asking for prayers to comfort the families.
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Pastor Kaleb Dees at NewSpring Church says Donna Major was very loving and compassionate. Major was one of two women killed in a Conway bank robbery Monday. Officials are asking for prayers to comfort the families.

Funeral arrangements have been made for the two victims shot to death in a Conway bank robbery Monday.

Friends and family of Kathryn “Katie” Davis Skeen of Green Sea will gather for prayer Wednesday night at an Aynor church. A viewing will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Johnson Funeral Home in Aynor, and a funeral is set for Friday morning at the Advancing the Kingdom Church in Conway where she was a member.

Donna Major, 59, of Conway, will be laid to rest on Sunday. Services will be held at NewSpring Church on Waccamaw Boulevard in Myrtle Beach, with the viewing from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. and the funeral at 5 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to Coastline Women’s Center.

Skeen and Major both worked at the CresCom Bank in Conway when, police say, an alleged bank robber shot them.

“Not only have both the Skeen and Major families been shaken to the core over the last two days, so has the entire city of Conway,” said Conway Mayor Barbara Blain-Bellamy at a press conference late Wednesday afternoon. “We are shaken but not to our foundation because we are a people of faith and we know that God will get us through this.”

“I ask that all of us continue to pray for the comfort of these two beautiful families,” she said.

Conway police responded to an alarm at the bank on the corner of U.S. Highway 501 and 16th Avenue around 1:20 p.m. Monday, just as the eclipse was getting underway in Horry County.

Police said the suspect fled the scene in one of the victim’s cars following the robbery.

An online obituary for Skeen says she was the bank’s branch manager. She left behind two sons, a husband of 16 years, her parents, brothers, and other family, the obituary states.

“Mrs. Skeen loved God, her family and her friends,” the obituary says.

Donna Major was born in Bergen County, New Jersey on June 23, 1958, according to her obituary.

She leaves behind a husband, Daniel Major, a son, two daughters, grandchildren, a sister, two half-brothers and a half sister.

Major was “a sacrificial mother and grandmother and a devoted wife,” her obituary states. She was also an “avid quilter.”

Major and Skeen were two “incredibly valued and respected members of our team,” vice president of CresCom Bank said at the Wednesday conference.

CresCom Bank said in a release that it and two local churches were helping to collect donations for the families of the victims. New Spring Church in Myrtle Beach had established an account with the bank for Major’s family and Advancing the Kingdom Church in Conway created an account for Skeen’s family. Donations can be dropped off at either church or at any CresCom location, according to the release.

Flowers began amassing outside the shuttered bank branch Tuesday as a community grieved the losses.

“These women contributed to our community with a vital service, but more importantly, did so with rich regard and gentleness towards all they served,” said Conway Mayor Barbara Blain Bellamy in a statement released Tuesday night.

“I was blessed to know these remarkable women, and enjoyed their company weekly. I always left their place of business with added reason to smile and appreciate humankind. We all grieve that Conway has lost two very special friends,” Bellamy said.

She also said authorities would not rest until the suspect or suspects responsible were captured.

On Tuesday, Lt. Selena Small, spokeswoman with Conway police, released information on a “person of interest” they are seeking in connection to the incident—Brandon Michael Council, 32, of Wilson, N.C.

Council is also wanted in connection with a separate bank robbery in his hometown that occurred Aug. 10, Small said. Police said he may have changed his hairstyle and released photos of him with both long and short hair.

“We don’t have warrants on this subject, but, again, this is a person of interest that we would like to question in reference to the bank robbery,” Small said Tuesday afternoon. “We do have reason to believe that he has been in the Conway area recently.”

North Carolina authorities do have a warrant for Council in connection to the robbery there, police said. Conway Police are being assisted by the FBI, state troopers, the State Law Enforcement Division, Horry County and Myrtle Beach police in the investigation.

By Wednesday afternoon, authorities said North Carolina police arrested Council in Greenville, N.C.

Chloe Johnson contributed to this report.

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