Man sought in SC murder case stayed at Adams Super Inn in Augusta

By: Kristen Cosby
By: Kristen Cosby

South Carolina law enforcement is looking for a 'person of interest' in an Orangeburg murder case.

The person they're looking for, Willie Bell, Jr., was in Augusta this past weekend.

Investigators seized his car Tuesday at the Adams Super Inn on Gordon Highway, but never found Bell.

They say the car came from a house that caught fire in Holly Hill, South Carolina.

Last Thursday firefighters had finished extinguishing the flames that destroyed a Holly Hill house, and they found a body.

Evidence showed that the victim, 78-year-old Annie Bell, didn't die in the flames, but was killed before the fire.

Bell's grandson, Willie Bell, Jr., also lived at this home, but disappeared along with his grandmother's car.

Orangeburg County deputies call Bell a "person of interest" and want to talk with him, but can't find him.

Information led the Orangeburg County investigators to Augusta, off Gordon Highway. They found Bell's car at the Adams Super Inn.

Kareem Taylor lives at the inn and got to know Bell.

"Met the guy Sunday," Taylor says. "He had a red car. He was trying to sell, so I decided to buy the car from him. I decided to buy the car; I didn't know there was a lot of history behind it."

Taylor bought Bell's grandmother's 1998 Ford for $1500.

Bell told Taylor that to get the car title they had to drive to Orangeburg and get it from his grandmother.

"I rode up there with him to get the title, but she never appeared," says Taylor.

Shortly after that, Taylor got a phone call.

"Some of the detectives in my family had seen the news and they told me, 'You're in the car with a killer.' Oh my god," Taylor says.

Horace Rainey, who also lives at Super Inn, saw Bell on the news, and recognized him when Bell visited his room.

"I looked at him. I said, 'Your name is William Bell, Jr.' He said, 'How do you know that?' I said, 'I see you on TV'," says Rainey.

Investigators aren't sure why Bell came to Augusta.

They do know he has connections somewhere in Georgia.

Kareem Taylor says he left Bell in Orangeburg and believes he stayed there, but investigators say Bell could be anywhere.

If you know where Willie Bell, Jr. is, call CrimeStoppers at 1-888-559-TIPS, or go to http://www.midlandscrimestoppers.com/ and submit a tip.


Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
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