The Brutal Murder of 15-Year-Old Silene Eaddy

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Silene Yasmin Eaddy was born in Lexington, South Carolina, in the late 1980s. At age 3, Brenda McCoy and Fredrick “Fred” Eaddy adopted her. She has five siblings: Cortavious “Eugene” Eaddy, Silas, Antonio, Candace, and Destiny Eaddy. (It is unclear whether the other three siblings share the Eaddy surname.) Fred died when Silene was five years old, which affected her for the remainder of her short life.

Silene’s family and friends called her “Erica.” Her mother described her as “sweet” with a “wonderful spirit” but was troubled – “she was trying to be too grown” and “always searching for something.” She loved to dance and sing and was part of a community gospel choir. Silene was bright and confident but brassy and sought revenge on those who hurt her and made threats, her mother said.

The family resided in a lovely home at 716 Fountain Lake Road in Columbia, South Carolina. Some reports say she lived in Hopkins, S.C.

Google Maps Street View, August 2011. Clicking on the image will take you to Google Maps.

Brenda worked in social services and tried giving Silene a stable home but struggled due to her daughter’s troubled behavior.

Silene loved walking around her neighborhood and chatting with neighbors. However, that led to encounters with young men who offered her rides that she eagerly accepted.  

Brenda tried unsuccessfully to ground her, but Silene would sneak out of the house through a window or door.

“Silene was her own person. I think I did everything I could … What was right for me was not right for her,” Brenda told The State in May 2005.

School officials expelled Silene from Dreher High School for cursing at another female student. Brenda said Silene did not like people getting in her face. The school after that sent her to an alternative school called Alston-Wilkes Society on February 25, 2004. Her behavior there was good. 

Silene desperately wanted to find her biological parents, but Brenda had no idea how to locate them. Unfortunately, Silene would never get to continue her search or meet her birth parents.

The Murder of Silene Eaddy

Silene Eaddy school photo and a map of the location of her body
(L) Silene Eaddy (R) Map of body location/T. Rollins, The State

On April 17, 2004, fire crews responding to an early morning brush fire in southern Richland County near Montgomery Lane and Pincushion Road discovered Silene’s beaten and burned body lying facedown. Police subsequently identified her through dental records. The autopsy confirmed soot in her airways, which meant Silene was alive when her killer(s) set her on fire.

She was last seen on April 15, 2004, leaving home between 7 and 7:30 p.m.

Investigators discovered Silene was hanging out with the wrong crowd, and they believe she knew her killer, something her family agrees with. However, they were at a dead end in 2004. Authorities appealed for information on her homicide in June 2005 after the case was turned over to the cold case unit. Investigations asked for the public’s help again in August of that year, but no one provided relevant information.

Playing Cards

In 2005, Florida authorities began using playing cards to assist in solving missing persons and homicide cases. They placed the names, pictures, and information regarding each victim on the cards and distributed them to inmates across the state. Soon, other states caught on and did the same.

In 2007, the South Carolina Department of Corrections and the S.C. Crime Stoppers developed the program for their state, putting 43 homicide victims (29 men, 14 women), including Silene, and their case information onto decks of playing cards. At the time, 24,000 male and female inmates were in the South Carolina prison system. More than 14,000 decks of cards were sold at $1.65/pack in the state’s 28 prisons in 2007.  

Aftermath  

Silene’s mother declined all press interviews until 2005. In 2017, Brenda agreed to be interviewed by Teddy Kulmala from The State newspaper.  

Still struggling with her daughter’s brutal, unsolved death, Brenda appealed for information in the hope of police finding the killer(s). 

“It’s never gonna be easier because I don’t know what happened,” Brenda said. “Now, if I find out what happened, then I can kind of rest my mind.”

Sadly, Brenda passed away following a brief illness on April 30, 2020, without knowing who killed her daughter or why. She was 68. Only Silene, Eugene, and Destiny are mentioned as surviving children. Silas, Antonio, and Candace, Silene’s other three siblings, were not listed. Destiny still resides in the Columbia area, according to her Facebook page.

The house Silene and Brenda lived in is no longer there. Nearly 20 years later, Silene’s killer has still not been caught.

Anyone with information on Silene Eaddy’s murder can call the Richland County Sheriff’s Office at (803) 576-3000 or Crime Stoppers, where you can remain anonymous, at (888) CRIME-SC or submit a tip online.

Sources

Brundrett, Rick. “Special Cards Give Police Ace in the Hole.” The State. September 17, 2008.

“Coroner Identified Girl Who Was Beaten, Burned.” The State (Columbia, S.C.). April 20, 2004.

“Deputies Continue to Search for Teen’s Killer.” The Index-Journal (Greenwood, S.C.). June 1, 2005.

Jordan, Kei’Yona. “15-Year-Old South Carolina Girl Found Beaten, Burned 19 Years Ago; Still No Suspects. WLOS 13 News. April 17, 2023. https://wlos.com/news/local/15-year-old-south-carolina-girl-found-beaten-and-burned-19-years-ago-still-no-suspects

Kulmala, Teddy. “Mother Wants Answers in Girl’s ’04 Killing.” The State. May 1, 2017.

Leach, Lauren. “‘She was trying to be too grown.'” The State. April 23, 2004.

Leach, Lauren. “Year After Girl’s Burned Body Found, Family Struggles to Cope.” The State. May 31, 2005.

“Sheriff Asks for Help in Finding Teen’s Killer.” The State. August 26, 2005.

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