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Search continues for killer of 4 in rural South Carolina

HOLLY HILL, S.C. (AP) — A sheriff in South Carolina said investigators were following good leads as they continued trying Thursday to determine who killed four people and wounded a young boy at a home in a rural area near Holly Hill.

Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell called it a “heinous” crime, but said officials had some evidence to indicate the shootings discovered Wednesday morning were an isolated incident.

“As soon as we develop a suspect, we’ll get a description out,” Sheriff’s Office spokesman Richard Walker said Thursday.

Coroner Samuetta Marshall identified the oldest victim as Jerome Butler, 50. His body was found in the yard outside the home.

Marshall identified the other victims as Krystal Hutto, 28; Shamekia Sanders, 17; and Tamara Perry, 14. An 8-year-old boy was taken to the Medical University of South Carolina Hospital. There was no word on his condition.

Law enforcement officials did not say how the victims were related.

The Orangeburg Times and Democrat reported Thursday (http://bit.ly/1KaEBgH ) that Hutto’s life has been hit by tragedy repeatedly with three car accidents that separately claimed the lives of her brother, mother and father.

The paper reported that two years ago, Krystal’s father Kenneth Hutto, 44, was killed in a single-vehicle accident in Holly Hill. Her mother, Mary Jennings Hutto, 41, was killed in a car accident in 2010 in Holly Hill. And the family lost 7-year-old Christopher Hutto when a vehicle struck him in 1993 not far from their home.

The paper also reported that Holly Hill police said Krystal Hutto had rammed her vehicle into a police cruiser, injuring the officer, in May of 2013.

She pleaded guilty for failure to stop for a blue light involving great bodily harm and was sentenced to six years, suspended to time served; one year of house arrest; and three years of probation. She was also ordered to complete a drug-rehabilitation program, the report said.

The paper also reported that Sanders had attended Lake Marion High School in Santee. The paper reported her aunt, Chantal Martin, described Sanders as a cheerleader who was looking forward to her senior year in school and graduation.

Superintendent Dr. Jesulon Gibbs-Brown of the Orangeburg Consolidated School District 3 schools said the deaths of young people will affect many in the school district, and that the district would try to make support available to family and friends, even though the schools are in summer session.

“We can immediately begin to support the family and extend our condolences and support them in any way we can,” Gibbs-Brown told the paper.

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