RIDGELAND, S.C. (WSAV) – Markeshia Dupont was found dead along the side of the road Saturday morning near Ridgeland — the victim of an apparent hit and run.
Now, her family wants to know who is responsible and why it happened.
Kesha, as she was known to friends, was last seen just after midnight walking down Highway 336 near the Wagon Branch Community Center.
The next time anyone saw her was after 6 that morning when her body was found on that same road.
“Markeshia had a smile that would light up any room,” said her cousin, Thaddeus Smith. “We went to parties together, dances together and, truly, my cousin was the life of the party.”
“She didn’t deserve it. No one deserves this,” Smith added.
Smith grew up with Dupont. He says they were like brother and sister.
“This doesn’t make any sense. She was somebody’s child, somebody’s grandchild, somebody sister, someone’s cousin, someone’s aunt,” Smith said.
It’s been four days since the 27-year-old has been found. No arrests have been made.
Dupont’s family is asking for justice, and directing their anger and questions at whoever may have been responsible.
“You left my cousin on the side of the road like a hit animal, and didn’t even think twice or even think about the value of her life,” said Smith. “An accident is an accident. We knew that Marksehia always wore dark clothing, so you may not have seen her. But to leave here there was cruel.”
He says anyone who might run from the scene has a lack of integrity and responsibility and needs to come forward.
Smith said a call for help “could have made the difference between Markeshia being here today and us having to bury her next week.”
Jasper County is “small,” according to Smith, and Ridgeland, even smaller. He believes someone here knows what happened.
“You can be the roughest person in the world, but no one deserves to be treated like Markeshia was treated,” Smith said.
“The hope is that the person who did this, that you would give her mother some kind of ease. My cousin Nadia and Mark’s life will never be the same,” he explained.
“She had a mother and sisters and cousins and aunts and uncles who loved her. So my message is to them, to simply turn yourself in,” Smith continued. “Give my mother some kind of peace.”
A vigil is being planned for Dupont for later this week. She will be laid to rest Tuesday on what would have been her 28th birthday.
If you have any information about what happened to Dupont, call the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office or the South Carolina Highway Patrol.