melissa i. whitis

Melissa I. Whitis

A Frankfort woman’s body was found burned and left in a ditch in South Carolina, a sheriff’s deputy said. 

The Chester County Sheriff’s Office in South Carolina said last week that it identified the woman as Melissa Whitis, 31. According to her driver’s license, her last known address was in Frankfort. 

Capt. Phillip Perry, who leads the office’s Criminal Investigations and Narcotics Unit, said sheriff’s deputies found the body on Sept. 20 on Lizzie Melton Road, about 12 hours after Whitis died. He described the road as a backroad near Interstate 40. Deputies are not sure whether that was the site of the incident and none of Whitis’ personal effects, like her car, were nearby. 

He said that he that foul play “was definitely involved” and the office is working toward identifying a suspect. 

“This is still an active investigation,” Perry said. 

The Chester County’s Sheriff’s Office and South Carolina Department of Public Safety are trying to piece together the last few days of Whitis’ life. Perry said he isn’t sure why she was passing through South Carolina. Last week, the office said in a news release that it believed Whitis to be in Davie County, North Carolina, over 100 miles north of Chester County, a few days prior to her death. 

According to an obituary for Whitis distributed by Southern Oaks Funeral Home in Somerset, Whitis lived there. She was the wife of Clifton Lee Whitis Jr. and was the mother of two children. Her funeral was held over the weekend.

Perry said that if anyone locally has information about Whitis, they can contact the Chester County Sheriff's Office at 803-501-5131.

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