A homicide case with local ties was featured on an episode of “48 Hours: NCIS” this week.
In an episode that aired June 6, the true-crime TV show explored the story of Annie Tahan, a mother of three who was murdered in 1989 in Berkeley County. Tahan’s body was later found in a burning duffle bag near Ridgeland in Jasper County.
It looked as though Tahan’s death would remain unsolved, but in 1995 the Naval Crime Investigation Service found a lead and tied the murder to Michael Paalan, her old boyfriend and the father of one of her children.
Paalan was charged with premeditated murder in 1996, in addition to other gun and drug charges, and sentenced to 30 years to life in prison. He served about 17 of them at the Fort Leavenworth U.S. Disciplinary Barracks in Kansas since he was a navy chief petty officer.
But in February 2013, Paalan was released for good behavior, over opposition from Tahan’s family, the Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette reported at the time.
The “48 Hours” episode features interviews with former Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette reporter Sarah Bowman, Tahan’s friend Kathi French as well as Jim Grebas and Pete Hughes, both retired NCIS senior special agents who worked on the case.