WINNSBORO — After nearly three weeks of investigation, police are still searching for murder suspect LaTroy Donta Sampson, wanted in connection with the strangulation death of a 34-year-old woman whose body was discovered the morning of July 4.
“We’re still following up on a bunch of leads, but so far they haven’t panned out to anything,” Winnsboro Police Chief Freddie Lorick said Thursday.
Sampson is described as a black male and is 6 feet tall and weighs 250 pounds. Officials said Sampson should be considered dangerous.
Police suspect Sampson, 37, is somewhere between Winnsboro and Columbia. Investigators believe Sampson has connections in the Columbia area and may be near Oceola and South Saluda streets.
“We don’t know that for sure, but that is the indication,” Lorick said. “We keep following up on leads between the two areas.”
Police received a tip last week about a sighting in Castlewood Apartments but that turned out to be nothing, he said.
Lorick said the public safety department recently patrolled an area in Blackstock looking for Sampson, but were unable to locate him after receiving a call.
The Winnsboro Public Safety Department distributed a photo taken from Sampson’s Facebook page in an effort to locate him as well.
Crimestoppers is offering up to $1,000 for information that leads to Sampson’s arrest. Anyone with information can call, email or text anonymous tips to CRIMES (274637). Citizens should text “TIPSC plus their message” to the number. Residents can also contact Lorick at 803-635-4511.
Winnsboro police responded to a Garden Street home at 3:50 a.m. July 4 and found Jennifer Monique Stone, 34, unresponsive. Emergency Medical Services were unable to revive Stone.
Lorick said her son was awakened by a scuffle taking place outside the home, got up to investigate and was met by Sampson, who fled the scene. After finding his mother’s body, he called 911.
The relationship between Sampson and Stone is unclear, but Lorick said they were acquainted. Lorick said Sampson has a detailed criminal history.
“We’ve had incidents in the past where he’s been involved with domestic violence, from what I understand, and he has a long criminal record,” Lorick noted.
Sampson’s criminal history dates back to 1996 when he was arrested by the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office for second degree lynching. Later that year, he was again detained by FCSO on strong armed robbery charges.
Just months later, Sampson was arrested a third time by the FCSO and charged with assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature. A month later he was sentenced to Kirkland Penitentiary for assaulting a police officer. He was released from prison in August 2013.