A woman's body was found on the side of a road two years ago, and in the past week two men were arrested on charges they killed the Midlands resident, according to the Kershaw County Sheriff's Office.
On Friday, Camden residents Antonyio Gary Johnson, 20, and Dexter Maurice Thomas, 29, were charged with murdering Dena Michelle Thames, the sheriff's office said in a news release.
On Nov. 10, 2021, Thames was found dead on Gaines Church Road, near S.C. 97, Kershaw County Coroner David West said. That's in Camden, where the 37-year-old Thames was a resident.
Thames had been shot multiple times, the sheriff's office said.
Thames death was the first unsolved homicide in Kershaw County in years, the sheriff's office said in April 2022.
That changed when both Johnson and Thomas were charged with possession of a weapon during a violent crime and criminal conspiracy in addition to murder, according to the release.
Information about how investigators connected Johnson and Thomas to Thames' death was not available.
But the sheriff's office said deputies and South Carolina Law Enforcement Division agents interviewed numerous people and followed numerous leads that resulted in the arrests.
"We never gave up on solving this case. Dena deserved justice," Sheriff Lee Boan said in the release. "Today starts the process of her and her family getting the justice they deserve."
Thomas was also charged with accessory after the fact to a felony and accessory before the fact to a felony, jail records show. While a $20,000 bond was set on the possession of a weapon during a violent crime and criminal conspiracy charges, no bond was set on the other charges and Thomas remains behind bars at the Kershaw County Detention Center, according to jail records.
Thomas has an extensive criminal record dating back to 2015, Kershaw County court records show.
Johnson is being held in neighboring Lancaster County, the sheriff's office said. He was arrested on Sept. 29, 2022, and charged with murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime, Lancaster County court records show.
In that incident, 15-year-old Jashawna Coleman was an "innocent victim" who was shot while on the couch in a relative's apartment in the town of Kershaw, according to the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office. The shots were believed to have been fired from a car near the apartment building, and in addition to Johnson three minors were charged with murder in the shooting, the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office said.
In addition to the charges in connection with Thames death, Johnson is facing other pending charges in Kershaw County. He was arrested on Jan. 26, 2020, and charged with armed robbery, possession of a weapon during a violent crime as well as kidnapping and was released on a $75,000 surety bond, Kershaw County court records show. Johnson also faces multiple traffic charges from an April 9, 2022, arrest, according to Kershaw County court records.