COLUMBIA, SC — Three years after losing his daughter and granddaughter in a brutal slaying, a Columbia man has taken his plea for new information to the public.
Carl Alston wrote an open letter on the eve of the anniversary of their deaths to express how much he misses them and to ask for help.
My beautiful daughter and granddaughter are not here with me physically, but they are definitely in my heart and always on my mind, Alston wrote. I cant get them off my mind.
Candra Alston, 25, and her 3-year-old daughter, Malaysia Boykin, were slain Jan. 9, 2011 in their Brook Pines Apartments home in what police described as an extraordinarily violent manner. Police have declined to reveal how the two were killed, saying it helps investigators know when they receive legitimate tips and will help them when they eventually confront the killer.
Carl Alston found his daughters and granddaughters bodies, after family members became concerned when they had not heard from them for three days. Candra Alston usually called her family on Saturday to make plans for their Sunday dinner, but she had not called.
Police do not think anyone broke into the house and it is likely Alston and her daughter knew the killer.
Candra Alston and her daughter had not been sexually assaulted and police have said they do not believe drugs were involved. They also do not know why the killer would have gone after the child, who was called La La or Lay Lay by her family.
Candra Alston had a wide network of friends on Facebook and MySpace, police said. They also discovered that she had advertised herself online as an escort.
Investigators have interviewed nearly 200 people and traveled to several states to interview people about the case. DNA samples have been taken from 150 people, many of whom were found through Alstons phone records, said Columbia Police Investigator Mark Vinson.
Investigators also have said a computer, an expensive Gucci purse and childrens clothing were missing from the apartment, which was off Broad River Road.
Police now are asking anyone who knew any of Alstons associates to think back on that time. If anyone had a change in behavior, acted strangely or even left town around that time, police want to know about it, Vinson said. People should call with tips even if they dont think the information is significant, he said.
The idea that someone would kill a 3-year-old child is mind-boggling, Vinson said.
In his letter, Carl Alston wrote about how hard it has been to come to grips with the deaths of his daughter and granddaughter.
I cant fathom why someone would take my only child away from me, but I ask for your help, he wrote. If you know the person who murdered my Candra and her daughter Malaysia please help me. And to the murderer, if you are watching this, please turn yourself in so that I may find closure to this mystery.
I am pleading with you Columbia to help me find the murderer because if they done it once, they may do it again. I would like to close this chapter of my life and move on.
Tipsters can call Vinson at (803) 545-3602 or CrimeStoppers at (888) CRIME-SC.
Reach Phillips at (803) 771-8307.