News 12 at 6 o’clock / Friday, March 29, 2013
The killer and the motive behind the death of 28-year-old Travis Smith is still unknown to investigators. (WRDW-TV)
NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW) -- Bradley Circle is quiet, and there's an aura of stillness in the air. There's a hint of traffic miles away and a dog's bark here or there. At the end of the road, there’s an old basketball hoop that sits silently in the shade of blooming trees. Just six months ago, this is where you'd find Travis Smith with his cousins and nephew, too.
"That’s a second grade picture,” said Tyesha Simmons, as she flipped through a stack of photos. “Actually, there's a burn. He got burnt with the iron. That's the burn mark that was on his hand in second grade."
Six months ago, her brother, Travis Smith, was shot and killed just down the street. North Augusta officers found the 28-year-old's lifeless body on a couch at the Ridgeview Manor apartments on Bradleyville Road.
"You really don't know what his last moments were like, and you don't know anything about what happened at all,” Simmons said. “It's just a mystery. I just got a phone call, and someone told me that my brother was dead, and they couldn't tell me why or what reason this could have happened."
The murder is still unsolved. There are no leads and no motive, either.
"I don't think there's a doubt in my mind. I know somebody knows something. You know, my gut feeling tells me there's somebody out there who knows exactly what happened that night,” Simmons told News 12.
However, Simmons has changed agony into action. She's started a new nonprofit called Teamboskie.
"Boskie was Travis' nickname that was given to him by his family,” she explained.
She’s in the paperwork, preparation and planning phase for now, but soon, Simmons hopes the group can offer education and mentoring for kids, among other things, to stop the violence.
"Just knowing that I'm bringing something positive out of a terrible tragedy, that's what keeps me going,” she said.
In the meantime, in this quiet neighborhood, Simmons hopes that one day someone will break their silence.
North Augusta Department of Public Safety says there are no new leads, but officers there are still hoping for a break. Initial reports said suspects were two black males. One was wearing a red hoodie and the other a black one.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call NADPS at (803) 279-2121 immediately. Simmons is asking for volunteers, and she’s open to ideas. She can be contacted at email@example.com or on Facebook.