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One Year Later: Family, police still searching for answers

Posted: October 2, 2013 - 4:27pm
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(Emily Rose Bennett/Staff) Tyesha Simmons stands in the courtyard where she and her brother, Travis Smith, used to play as children by their North Augusta home. Simmons' brother was shot a year ago and his case is still unsolved. "It's in a deadlock," Simmons said about the case. "There's no closure. We just want to know why."   EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
(Emily Rose Bennett/Staff) Tyesha Simmons stands in the courtyard where she and her brother, Travis Smith, used to play as children by their North Augusta home. Simmons' brother was shot a year ago and his case is still unsolved. "It's in a deadlock," Simmons said about the case. "There's no closure. We just want to know why."

A little more than a year after Travis Smith’s death, his family is still feeling his loss.

“It’s been rough because first you have to deal with the loss,” said his sister Tyesha Simmons. “That’s a blow in itself. Then it’s a double blow not knowing why this happened or who did this. You’re constantly wondering, have you come across this person? Have you seen this person? Is this person right up under your nose? You just have a lot of questions.”

Smith, 28, was fatally shot Sept. 29, 2012 at Ridgeview Manor Apartments off Brad-leyville Road. A witness told officers that she and Smith were standing outside an apartment when two black men in hooded sweatshirts approached. The woman ran inside and heard a gunshot.

Police have no suspects and the case remains open, said North Augusta Public Safety Lt. Tim Thornton.

“We’re doing everything that we can. We haven’t received any fresh new tips in the last couple of months and so far, we haven’t had much success with the information we’ve gotten since the incident took place,” he said.

All that is known is that the suspects are black males and police think the weapon used was a .38 or .357.

A $1,000 reward is offered and people are encouraged to come forward, said Thornton.

“What we’re interested in is any information that would lead to the identification of our shooters and the successful prosecution of our two suspects,” he said.

Despite the emotional year, Simmons and her family have come together to speak out against violence at stop-the- violence rallies and form a nonprofit organization, Team Boskie. Boskie was Smith’s childhood nickname, said Simmons.

“It’s something to honor him and keep his memory alive but we’re also using it to raise awareness about violence through education and service to the community. We want to promote positive social relationships, how to resolve conflict without resorting to violence,” she said. “We also want to be a source of support for other families.”

Over the weekend, Sim-mons distributed flyers in Ridgeview and surrounding neighborhoods in hopes that someone will come forward with information.

“It’s going to take someone coming forward who’s willing to speak out to put a break in this case,” she said.

With two suspects involved, there is a chance that one of them might eventually confess to his involvement in the slaying and lead police to the other suspect, said Thornton.

Anyone with information can contact Midlands Crime Stoppers at (888)-CRIMESC, text “tipsc” plus message to 274637, or submit a tip through its Facebook page, Midlands Crimestoppers.

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