Originally created 08/29/98

Billboards ask for clues in Holt death



On billboards and posters, pictures of a smiling David Holt are haunting reminders that the murder of the Sam's Club manager remains unsolved.

"Who Murdered David Holt? $100,000 Reward for information leading to arrest and conviction," reads the signs' message. Telephone numbers for local law enforcement are listed on the signs.

Mr. Holt, a Sam's Club manager at the Bobby Jones Expressway store, was last seen just after midnight June 21, where he set the store's alarm.

About three hours later, he was found in the trunk of his burning car on Sand Pit Road in North Augusta.

By keeping his face in front of the public eye, local law enforcement officers hope the signs will prompt information about the June 21 murder of the 45-year-old manager.

"The idea is, in this case, by use of signs, to bring unbearable pressure on the people who either killed David Holt or know who killed David Holt," said Lt. Michael Frank, spokesman for the Aiken County Sheriff's Office.

Sam's Club purchased advertising space on three billboards and six transit shelters soliciting information that will lead to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the murder.

The reward has been offered by Wal-Mart, the parent company of Sam's Club.

"The goal is to raise awareness," said Les Copeland, a spokesman with Wal-Mart. "Hopefully it will jog someone's memory regarding what might have happened that night."

Harold Harrison, FBI agent in charge of the Augusta office, said that there are two agents assigned to the investigation that are working on it daily, interviewing people connected to the case. He said the signs have assisted the agents, but would not say how the signs have done that.

"We've received some information from the posters that have been put up," Agent Harrison said.

Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for information regarding the case.

Lt. Frank said this not the first time that billboards have been used to solicit information in a local murder case.

Earlier this year, space on a couple of billboards were purchased in trying to garner more information on the murder of Janice Wessinger, a case which is still unsolved.

"We did receive quite a few phone calls," he said. "It didn't get any information on it that has led to an arrest."

Mrs. Wessinger, 47, was found stabbed to death Nov. 23 in a wooded area near her Kedron Church road residence.

Anyone with information about the murder of Mr. Holt should call the Richmond County Sheriff's Department at (706) 821-1080 or the Aiken County Sheriff's Department at (803) 642-1761 or (800) 922-3211, or Crime Stoppers at (803) 642-1798.