A sheriff's detective heading the investigation into the 1998 killing of Sam's Club Manager David Holt is looking into claims that the killer is already sitting in jail.
Investigator Stuart Graybeal will interview Aiken County inmate Travis Glanton this week to hear his assertions that the person who killed Mr. Holt is a fellow inmate at the Aiken County Detention Center.
According to a sheriff's report, Mr. Glanton used a jail telephone Sunday night to call collect to a North Augusta resident he thought was related to the victim. Mr. Glanton told the woman he had information about the Holt killing that she should pass on to detectives.
"(The) subject said the person involved in the death of David Holt was in ACDC with him," a deputy wrote in a report.
After receiving the call, the woman called the sheriff's office and filed the report. Mr. Glanton did not identify the killer.
The woman is not related to the victim.
Asked about the report, sheriff's Lt. Michael Frank said, "His claims will be investigated." The lieutenant called the claims a "lead," not a development.
"As we all know, leads don't always pan out," he said. "But with any case, you have to run them down and either validate them or toss them out."
Mr. Glanton, 23, has been arrested several times since he was 18, accused of kidnapping, armed robbery, breach of trust and grand larceny. He currently is in jail after his Feb. 4 arrest on charges of kidnapping and making obscene calls.
The inmate's telephone call to the woman caught her off guard. She accepted the collect call thinking it might be her children in trouble.
"He sounded like he wanted to get something off his chest," she said. "I didn't know what to takeit as, but I just wanted to call and report it in case maybe he did know something."
She said she believes the inmate may be interested in the $200,000 reward offered for information leading to an arrest in the case.
"Who knows? He could be a con artist," she said.
In June, law enforcement officials said they had suspects in the Holt slaying and were close to bringing the case to an end. But no arrests have been made.
In the early-morning hours of June 21, 1998, Mr. Holt's burned remains were discovered in the trunk of his Mazda Protege, parked off Sand Pit Road in Aiken County. Investigators also discovered that the Sam's Club on Bobby Jones Expressway in Augusta had been robbed. They said they believe someone forced Mr. Holt to unlock the store's door and the safe sometime after Sam's had closed for the night.
Richmond County and Aiken County officials are combining efforts on the unsolved case. Investigator Graybeal was recently assigned to take over the case when Lt. Wayne Collins left the Aiken County Sheriff's Office.
"Certainly, it never hurts to have a fresh pair of eyes looking at the information, because we are all individuals, and we all interpret information differently," Lt. Frank said.
Reach Greg Rickabaugh at (803) 279-6895.