Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office believes composites could crack cold case murder

Crime & Safety

BURTON, S.C. (WSAV) – Authorities have released composite sketches of a suspect wanted in a Burton murder that happened more than 30 years ago.

According to the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO), on the evening of November 1, 1987, Margit Schuller was washing clothes in the laundromat at Palmetto Apartments where she was shot and killed. She was found by her daughter, who was a child at the time.

BCSO says the unknown subject left behind body fluids, which were submitted in the early 2000s for DNA analysis as a part of Beaufort County Sheriff PJ Tanner’s cold case initiative.

Investigators worked with Parabon Nanolabs to perform phenotyping, which analyzes DNA and determines physical appearance. Composites were then generated of what the subject may have looked like in 1987, at about age 25, and in 2019, at 55-years-old.

According to BCSO, investigators believe the subject was familiar with the Burton area and may have lived or had family there. The sheriff’s office also says there are indicators that sexual assault may have been the motive.

The public is encouraged to view the composites and anyone who believes they know the subject’s identity is asked to contact Major Bob Bromage at 843-816-8013.

A monetary reward of up to $5,000 will be considered for information leading to the identification and arrest of the subject responsible for Schuller’s murder.

Anyone wishing to remain anonymous can contact Crimestoppers of the Lowcountry at 843-554-1111.

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