‘Serial killer’ claims fifth victim in South Carolina

Police say the suspect may be driving a light-gray or champagne tan 1991-1994 two-door Ford Explorer.
A 15-year-old South Carolina girl who was shot earlier this week by a man authorities say fits the description of a serial killer has died, police said Saturday.

Abby Tyler died at 11:25 a.m. Saturday at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center, Chief Rick Turner of the Gaffney Police Department told reporters. The Her father, Stephen Tyler, 48, was pronounced dead at the scene of the shooting Thursday in the family-run furniture and appliance store, Tyler Home Center, in Gaffney. The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office on Friday released a second sketch of a man believed to have fatally shot five people in less than a week. “Let me say that under the FBI’s definition of a serial killer, yes, we have a serial killer,” Sheriff Bill Blanton told reporters in Gaffney, a town in the county of about 54,000 residents some 50 miles southwest of Charlotte. He would not detail what has led investigators to conclude the shootings are linked or how they received the description of the suspect that has led to the two sketches. In addition, he said he did not know whether the shooter knew his victims or whether he may have chosen them at random. Watch locals gather to pray for victims and killer » Police said he may be driving a light-gray or champagne tan 1991-1994 two-door Ford Explorer. The first shooting happened Saturday, when peach farmer Kline W. Cash, 63, was found dead by his wife in their home, said Leigh Caldwell, a victims services coordinator for the sheriff’s office. Blanton said Cash’s home may have been robbed. On Wednesday, the bound and shot bodies of 83-year-old Hazel Linder and her 50-year-old daughter, Gena Linder Parker, were found in the mother’s home, where she lived alone. “We’re still trying to determine if anything’s missing from there,” Blanton said. Leave has been canceled for all members of the Police Department and the Sheriff’s Department, said their respective chiefs, who urged residents to take precautions. About 100 investigators from North and South Carolina were working the case, Blanton said. “I think our community has a right to be concerned,” he said. “We’re concerned. We’re dealing with a man that’s killed four people.”

He urged residents to check on relatives, especially those who live alone. “We’re asking the people in our community to be vigilant, to report anything.” But he cautioned against taking that too far. “Our concern is that people are going to start shooting at shadows,” he said.