Crime & Courts

Former teen beauty queen dies as inmate of an SC jail, coroner says

A woman who was formerly a beauty queen died last week while she was an inmate in a South Carolina jail, the Greenwood County Coroner’s Office said Tuesday.

Tracy Lee Livingston Sims died about 9 p.m. on Sept. 26 at Self Regional Healthcare, Coroner Sonny Cox said in a news release.

Sims was locked up at the Greenwood County Detention Center before being taken to the hospital, according to the release.

Although an autopsy has been performed on the 56-year-old Greenwood woman, her cause of death has not been determined, Cox said.

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Tracy L. Sims was an inmate at a South Carolina detention center when she died last week. Facebook Screen Grab

Both the coroner’s office and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division are investigating Sims’ death.

Cox said he could not provide information on her medical emergency because of the investigation. In an interview with The State, he anticipated a determination on her cause and manner of death would be made in a number of weeks.

Information on why Sims was being held at the jail was not available, but she has a long criminal record.

Sims had been arrested nine times in the past 30 years on multiple charges, many of which were drug or alcohol related, SLED records show.

Since 2016, she was arrested three times, most recently in May 2017, when Sims was charged with malicious injury to personal property and second-degree burglary, according to SLED. The burglary charge was resolved in October 2018, but Sims still faced prosecution for the other crime, records show.

Sims had participated in beauty pageants in her youth.

The Chapel Hill, North Carolina, native was a former Miss Greenwood as well as a competitive dancer, according to her obituary.

“Remember all the competition dances and pageants of your younger days Tracy. You were a beautiful girl and accomplished dancer,” read one of the more than 30 condolence messages and memorials dedicated to Sims on the Harley Funeral Home’s online tribute wall.

“You were a beautiful girl with a beautiful soul,” another tribute said. “I have missed you over the years but you will always be that beautiful person that I loved and admired and you always will be. Dance in heaven and I will see you again one day.”

A funeral service will be held Wednesday for Sims, who is survived by two children and her parents among other relatives, per her obituary.

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Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State focused on breaking news, public safety and trending news. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.
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