It was five months ago this week that the family of 18-year-old James Earl “Scoopy” Richardson Jr. of Pawleys Island got the call that his slain body had been found face down next to Parkersville Road.
And still, despite numerous pleas from family members and authorities for information, no one knows who is responsible for his shooting death. Coroner Kenny Johnson said Richardson had been shot multiple times in the torso.
“Somebody out there knows something. We are hoping some new leads come out. Our family just needs closure and justice,” said Richardson’s aunt, Janie Richardson during an interview outside the family’s home on Atkinson Avenue, off Waverly Road, Monday.
What the family does know is Scoopy — nicknamed that because he was so big as a baby his mother needed two hands to scoop him up — was alive at 12:10 a.m. May 25. Less than 30 minutes later is when his lifeless body was discovered by a relative.
He had been at the home of a relative on Parkersville Road at around 11:30 p.m. May 24.
He was supposed to leave that residence and walk to the home of his cousin, Tony Richardson, to make a compact disc.
Scoopy’s grandmother Albertha Richardson, who raised him most of his life, said she received a call from him shortly before 12:10 a.m. and he sounded like something was wrong. She said she could hear voices in the background.
She said she told him he needed to return home.
Amy Richardson, the wife of Tony Richardson, said after Scoopy hung up with his grandmother, he called her asking for a ride home. He said he was walking to the home of Tony and Amy at that time.
Amy is the last known person to speak with Scoopy.
The family says because Albertha Richardson heard voices in the background when she received the call from her grandson, they believe there are people who know what happened.
Janie Richardson said the last time she saw her nephew alive was the afternoon prior to his death when he was at her house helping to move a TV.
“He always called me momma. He said ‘momma, I will see you tomorrow’ and then hugged and kissed me before he left,” she recalled.
Albertha Richardson said she was just starting to heal from the loss of her son, James Earl Richardson Sr. who died in April, 2011, when her grandson was slain.
“It has been very hard. And it’s even harder because we don’t know why,” she said. “I want closure so I can find some peace. He was a sweet person. He did not hang with outside people too much. He mainly stayed close with his family.”
The family said Scoopy had dreams of going into the military and was an avid song writer.
Despite the fact there is not much visible movement in the investigation, the family is not blaming the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office.
Janie Richardson said the family has been kept abreast of the latest details in the investigation but the problem stems from people unwilling to come forward with information.
Although there has been no official motive for the shooting, family members say they have heard robbery may be the reason because Scoopy had cashed a check that day and had about $200 in his pocket.
Sheriff’s office spokesman Carrie Cuthbertson said investigators are not commenting on a possible motive because, at this time, it would be speculation.
Daisy Greene, another one of Scoopy’s aunts, said she feels the person responsible is someone he knew. Possibly one of the people his grandmother heard in the background when she received the phone call.
Anyone with any information regarding the death of Mr. Richardson should contact the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office at (843) 546-5101.
By Scott Harper
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