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A month passes, but no clues in North Augusta slaying

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NORTH AUGUSTA — On Sept. 29, Johnnie Mae Mims was called to a crime scene, where she found her nephew dead. Today she has as many unanswered questions as she did when she first saw the police tape.

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Tyesha Simmons holds a picture of her brother Travis Smith, who was fatally shot while standing outside a North Augusta apartment complex Sept. 29.  EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
Tyesha Simmons holds a picture of her brother Travis Smith, who was fatally shot while standing outside a North Augusta apartment complex Sept. 29.

“Sometimes these things take a while to shake out,” North Au­gusta Public Safety Lt. Tim Thorn­ton said of the unsolved homicide of Travis Smith, 28.

Police said Smith and a woman were standing outside a Ridge­view Manor apartment building on Bradleyville Road when he was fatally shot around 2:45 a.m.

Police believe two men in hoodies fired the shot in Smith’s direction as he and the woman tried to run inside.

All the family knows is that Smith had been visiting a friend at the complex when he said, “I’ll be right back,” but never returned.

“I don’t know why,” sister Tyesha Simmons said. “They don’t have a motive or suspect. There’s nothing. No one can tell me anything.”

Police offered a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest, but no one has come forward.

“We believe there is more to the story than what was told so far,” Thornton said of the city’s only homicide of the year. “We believe more information is out there, but witnesses are reluctant to come forward.”

Family remember Smith as a quiet man who generally kept to himself. For the past year he had taken care of his elderly grandmother at his family home just a few streets down from Ridgeview Ma­nor.

They suspect he might have been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Police said the woman he was with, who was originally referred to as a girlfriend, remains a person of interest because of her involvement in the case and unanswered questions.

Simmons said she’s unaware of any women in Smith’s life other than his 9-year-old daughter.

“(His daughter) is having a hard time,” Simmons said. “He was coming back into her life, and she was getting really attached. She keeps asking why (he died).”

Family members hope someone will come forward with information to answer the question on all their minds.

“I’m trying to plead with the people in those apartments for any information, no matter how insignificant you think it might be,” Simmons said.

In the meantime, she wears a purple ribbon with a gold “T” on her shirt in honor of her brother.

Mims said her greatest fear is that people will start to forget and that an answer will never come.

REWARD OFFERED

A reward of up to $1,000 is being offered for information leading to an arrest in the shooting of Travis Smith. Callers, who may remain anonymous, can contact Crimestoppers at (888) CRIME-SC.

UNSOLVED NORTH AUGUSTA HOMICIDES

SEPT. 18, 2000: Clifford Wayne Williams, 48, was shot at the Highlander Pub on Georgia Avenue by a man with whom he had been drinking beer. Witnesses said the two men argued and the other man stood up and shot Williams in the chest with a revolver.

JAN. 27, 1992: Leroy “Leo” Roosevelt McCoy, 28, and Joseph Nathan Tillman, 28, were found shot in the 600 block of Boylan Street.

OCT. 30, 1990: Gloria Ann Dickinson, 44, was found strangled in Room 11 of the Downtown Motel in the 100 block of Georgia Avenue.

MAY 9, 1977: G.C. Sailors and his wife, Gwendolyn, were shot to death in a corner bedroom of their Tamarack Drive home near North Augusta. Mrs. Sailors managed a Broad Street variety store. Her husband was a Savannah River Plant employee. Each was shot four times.

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Gaffe
170
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Gaffe 10/29/12 - 12:21 am
4
0
Knowing the posters here I
Unpublished

Knowing the posters here I can just imagine what type of comments are about to come. All I have to say is that as someone left behind by a homicide victim that EVERY family deserves answers regardless of what their loved one may or may not have been doing at the time of their deaths.

GiantsAllDay
9365
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GiantsAllDay 10/29/12 - 05:10 am
4
2
Unsolved murders

Well, of COURSE these murders are unsolved. There are far more pressing issues in North Augusta. Things such as going 45 in a 40 on Martintown Rd. and driving with excessive window tint.

etlinks
20251
Points
etlinks 10/29/12 - 07:50 am
3
0
Bradleyville Road

This area has a lot of problems and I hope answers will come soon for this crime. NAPD keep up the good work and if you don't want to drive in NA go around.

F4therTime
4656
Points
F4therTime 10/29/12 - 11:09 am
3
0
Really?
Unpublished

You do know that traffic cops write those kinds of tickets and investigators take care of murders? That has nothing to do with illegal tint and speeding. If you don't want those kinds of tickets don't speed or have illegal tint.

kiwiinamerica
934
Points
kiwiinamerica 10/29/12 - 01:12 pm
0
0
Home free
Unpublished

Question: Have North Augusta cops ever solved a murder?

The "Highlander pub' murder is still unsolved to my knowledge and so is the "Waffle House" murder.

my.voice
4715
Points
my.voice 10/29/12 - 05:26 pm
3
1
Crime is out of control in

Crime is out of control in North Augusta, and their ability to solve these crimes is deterirated beyond acceptable levels. Yet the only manpower they seem to muster are the "heat" cars, police cars without lights on top, etc. Their only focus is on traffic control. North Augusta High is infested with drugs, yet nothing is done, ever, to combat it, unless the SRO happens upon you lighting one up. And why does the SRO drive an SUV? Its a complete waste of resources.

Your (and my) hometown is being SHOT UP! They havent solved the first CRIME that's occurred in the last 36 months. The only recent drug bust fell in their lap because the lab caught on fire!

North Augusta ONLY cares about speeding. See the following list of unsolved crime in the City. And this is only a partial list:

2005 Waffle House Murder - Unsolved (Friends of mine were killed and injured)
January 2009 - Bank Robbery
December 2010 - Waffle House Robbery
August 2010 - Pizza Hut robbed
November 2010 - Carjacking & Robbery
December 2010 Zaxby's Armed Robbery
September 2010 - "Surrounded" Fugitive escapes - Later turns himself in to Aiken County
October 2011 - Zaxby's armed at gunpoint
July 2012 - Manuels restaurant armed robbery
August 2012 - Armed robbery at Greg's Gas Plus
September 2012 - Armed robbery at Summerfield Park
October 2012 - North Augusta Kroger Robbery - Apprehanded by RCSO (They do a lot of crime-solving for North Augusta)

Now tell me they have their resources pointed in the right direction.

itsanotherday1
41879
Points
itsanotherday1 10/29/12 - 10:25 pm
0
0
99+% of people wearing

99+% of people wearing hoodies never commit a crime; but of crimes committed in the open, a significant number are in hoodies. Thus, I am prejudiced against those wearing hoodies.

I hope they find these two.

F4therTime
4656
Points
F4therTime 10/29/12 - 10:37 pm
0
0
You got something wrong...
Unpublished

2005 was a huddle house not a waffle house.

my.voice
4715
Points
my.voice 10/30/12 - 07:01 am
0
0
Father Time: I'm sure the

Father Time: I'm sure the dead are concerned about your observation.

F4therTime
4656
Points
F4therTime 10/30/12 - 02:34 pm
0
0
Nope they aren't
Unpublished

But in a public domain accuracy means people take you seriously...how does anyone know the rest of your facts aren't wrong as well? Once again investigators and traffic cops are totally different animals. If you don't want a speeding ticket then don't speed. If RC would write tickets like NA they wouldn't be short of funds and need to raise the taxes on South Augusta all the time!!

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