1988 Cold Case Suspect in Three Rivers Murder Found Dead in SC Jail Cell

Robert Waters, a suspect in a cold case, passed away. On Saturday, May 6, WOOD-TV reported that 53-year-old Waters was discovered dead in his cell at the Beaufort County jail in South Carolina. Waters is suspected of killing Cathy Swarts of Three Rivers in 1988. The news was also made on Facebook on Saturday by the Three Rivers Police Department.

On Sunday, April 30, Waters was apprehended in South Carolina and was being held on accusations of open murder in the killing of Swarts, who was 19 years old. Waters was awaiting extradition to St. Joseph County.

On December 2, 1988, Swarts’ fiance discovered her body in her residence in Three Rivers. The murder occurred while her 9-month-old daughter was in the room next to her.

Investigators found indications of attempted rape, self-defense wounds, and beatings on the mother in addition to multiple stab wounds and strangulation.

The tweet below confirms the news:

Suspect Identified and Arrested Decades Later Using DNA Evidence

After she passed away, her ex-boyfriend was arrested but eventually freed. The investigation eventually came to a halt, but decades later, forensic genetic genealogy studies using DNA recovered from the scene helped identify Waters.

Waters, who had no prior criminal record, had never been a suspect before the Beaufort Police Department took his fingerprints on April 30. A bloody print was discovered on a phone at the crime scene and one of his fingerprints matched.

If found guilty, Waters could have received a life sentence.

According to Three Rivers Police, The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is not looking into the circumstances surrounding his death.

If you’re looking for the inside scoop on anything seedy in California and the surrounding areas, go no farther than The California Examiner.

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