Crime & Courts

Coroner identifies woman found in ditch shot who was shot multiple times

A woman is dead and an investigation to find her killer is underway, the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday.

The woman’s body was found in a ditch at about 4 a.m., Sheriff Lee Foster said in an interview with The State.

She has been identified as Sharonda Shontay Sims, Newberry County Coroner Laura Kneece said in a news release.

Deputies had responded to a shots fired call on Charles Street when a citizen called to report discovering the woman’s body nearby, in the ditch close to the intersection of Drayton Street and Kendall Road, according to Foster. That is about a half mile from Charles Street, and just outside of the city of Newberry, the sheriff said.

The 40-year-old was non responsive after suffering at least two gunshot wounds and the coroner’s office was called, Foster said.

A murder investigation is underway, and Foster said it is being determined if the report of gunfire is related to the woman’s death.

Sims’ death has been ruled a homicide, Kneece said after performing an autopsy.

The sheriff’s office has not identified a suspect or suspects at this time.

In addition to the sheriff’s office, the Newberry Police Department, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and the coroner’s office is investigating the shooting death.

Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or report it to CrimeStoppers at 888-CRIME-SC or submit an online tip.

This is a developing story, check back for updates.

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Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State and McClatchy Carolinas Regional Team. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.