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Greenville police arrest 3 in 2015 cold case involving teen

Greenville police arrest 3 in 2015 cold case involving teen

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — Three people have been arrested in connection with the death of a 16-year-old boy six years ago in South Carolina, police said Thursday.

The Greenville Police Department said each of the suspects — Jayveon Deonte Sanders, Christopher Lewis Dendy Jr. and Tyleek Rayquan Johnson — faces a charge of murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime. They are being held with no bond. A motive has not been determined.

The three men knew of the victim, Cobey Smith, but investigators said there was no previous relationship with him, Lt. Tim Conroy said during a news conference at the Greenville Convention Center.

Smith, who lived in the Heritage Community Apartments in Greenville, was killed about 10 p.m. March 25, 2015. Thompson said witnesses told police that someone called out to Smith and he walked toward the voices. Investigators said Smith was shot and killed on the Sliding Rock Creek trail in Greenville, near where he lived in Nicholtown.

Smith’s mother and brother found his body.

“We are pleased to be able to give closure to a mother, a family, and a community,” police Chief Howie Thompson said.

Community activist Jack Logan spoke on behalf of the victim's mother, Betty Smith, and said she felt relieved after finally finding out who took her son’s life.

“We sat in the cold in Nicholtown, asking for justice and learned today that this police department has arrested three people,” Logan said.

Thompson was joined by other detectives and officers involved in the case, as well as members of the department’s cold case review team.

“The one thing that solved this case was persistence,” Conroy said. “It shouldn’t go unnoticed that the officers, many of the officers standing behind you, were the ones responding that night. They were actually in the area and heard the shots go off.”

Thompson said the team currently has 16 cold cases that investigators are looking into and asking the public for any information to help solve them.

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