Crime & Courts

After 2 years eluding police, one of the Upstate’s most wanted found and arrested

Nedrala Shashan McLaughlin evaded law officers for two years. Last month, officers caught up.

McLaughlin, one of Greenville County’s most-wanted suspects, was arrested Oct. 20, according to the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office.

McLaughlin was wanted in connection with a 2016 shooting at the Dixie Estates trailer park.

Crossing over a set of railroad tracks, Dixie Estates sits along a commercial and industrial section of White Horse Road in Gantt, S.C., part of west-central Greenville County.

Across the road, through another trailer park and some woods, an asphalt plant makes the materials that go into golf cart paths.

On June 8, 2016, a woman approached one of the trailers on Dixie Estate’s main road, Luke Lane, according to a sheriff’s spokesperson. Why the woman approached is unclear, but McLaughlin was at the trailer, officials said.

A fight started between McLaughlin and the woman. During the fight, McLaughlin pulled a gun and shot the woman, officials said. The woman was hit in the leg.

Investigators named McLaughlin as the primary suspect and signed a warrant for an attempted murder charge. Before deputies could arrest McLaughlin, she ran, according to a report by Ron Norman of the WSPA news station.

In September, The State published a story on 19 of South Carolina’s most-wanted suspects, which featured McLaughlin.

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After the publication of the article, a spokesperson with the U.S. Marshals field offices in South Carolina reached out to The State to say the Marshals were calling local law agencies to offer support with finding any suspects on The State’s list.

The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office was one of the agencies the Marshals connected with. They worked together to find McLaughlin. She was arrested Oct. 20 without incident while at work in Detroit, according to authorities.

“We’ve refocused some efforts to ensure that our local agencies and departments know that we’re here for them,” said U.S. Marshal Tom Griffin Jr. “That’s what we did with that (McLaughlin) case.”

Greenville Sheriff Johnny Mack Brown said his office connected with the Marshals for the case because “they got more tentacles than we do.”

“They really help us in a time of need and go out of the way to help us,” said Brown.

When a suspect eludes the sheriff’s office for two years, the case stays active while investigators put the suspect on a national watch list, Brown said. If a tip comes in, investigators work that tip.

“We understand now we’re not just looking for them, but everybody in the country is,” Brown said.

Brown served as Greenville sheriff from 1977 to 2001 then returned to the office in April 2018. In the meantime, Brown served as a U.S. Marshal.

Under his watch as sheriff, two years is the longest time a suspect has been on the run in recent memory, Brown said.

Even after a three-decade career in law enforcement, Brown said he and his investigators still feels a sense of justice when a crime suspect is captured.

“They feel relief because their hard work has paid off. ... It makes you feel good that you can bring closure to the family,” Brown said. “That’s the satisfying part.”

David Travis Bland, @dtravisbland

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