Sheriff says case is building against suspect in a 2000 murder

Darlington County Sheriff Wayne Byrd said they're working to make sure there are no more hang-ups in the investigation of the murder of Michelle Haggadone, 34.

She was found dead near a rest stop along I-20 in Darlington County in 2000.

DNA was used to identify the remains as Haggadone's in 2011.

At the time, the Darlington County Sheriff's Office said a murder warrant had been issued against John Wayne Boyer, 57, who was already serving time in North Carolina for murder.

However, a murder warrant hadn't been issued against Boyer.

The lead investigator, Andy Locklair, never got a warr


ant and lied to cover it up, according to Byrd.

Locklair resigned and a new investigator and special prosecutor were assigned to the Boyer investigation.

Byrd said he trusted Locklair to do his job. He added now there are measures in place to make sure investigators follow up on cases.

Byrd explained, "It would be hard to be sure that everybody followed up on everything they're suppose to be doing. But you know that's really what we're going to have to do. Just got to follow up and make sure that the work is getting done."

There is now a murder warrant against Boyer, but Byrd added it won't be served until after Boyer finishes a 12 year prison sentence for murder in North Carolina and is tried on murder charges in Tennessee.

"The warrant's not been served. And it won't be served until we're ready to bring him back to South Carolina," Byrd said.

He said they're continuing to build a case against Boyer. Last week, investigators sent more DNA evidence to be analyzed at the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED).

"It gives us an opportunity to reexamine evidence that we have here that might be on hand. You got to remember that DNA technology today is much more advanced than it was in 2000. So we're hopeful that we can recover some additional evidence."

Byrd sympathizes with Haggadone's family. He wants them to be assured that Boyer will stand trial for her murder.

"It's stressful for the family. Well, the family of course wants closure. They would I'm sure loved to have this thing settled within weeks. But the justice system just doesn't work that way. It's a certain set procedures you have to go by. Mr. Boyer is a criminal, he's a liar, he's a murderer. You know he confessed to the crime. How strong that confession is would be a question for the jury for the court. We feel like it's strong enough to charge him."