Cold Case: Family, Deputies Search for Answers 21 Years Later

RICHLAND COUNTY, S.C. (WOLO) – In 1996, Olympia resident Jack L. Robinson was brutally killed at the Rosewood boat landing.

As the 21st anniversary of his death nears, investigators have made little to no progress in the case.

Here’s what they know for certain: the 65-year-old arrived at the boat landing in his car, around 6 p.m. August 17, and met someone he appeared to know, before walking with him into a grass clearing nearby. Deputies said three witnesses were hanging out in the parking lot before a concert in Finlay Park. They reported that shortly after Robinson and the other man left the lot, Robinson could be heard shouting that he could give the man money, and then, they say, he reemerged holding his abdomen – he’d been stabbed multiple times. By the time Robinson got to the hospital, he’d lost too much blood and died.

His daughter, Tammy Downs, was 34 at the time of the killing. Since that day, Downs has searched for answers every way she knows how – the case has been featured in a book and on a TV show.

“It gnaws at me. All the time it gnaws at me,” Downs said. “Why? What was he here for? Who was this person? There’s gotta be answers. Somebody has to have answers.”

Richland County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Chief Stan Smith has worked on the case for about seven years.

“In this case, we have a daughter who’s very involved and very persistent,” Smith said, “and that motivates me because I’d like to solve it for her.”

The only thing cold case investigators have been able to determine is what the suspect looked like. He was in his mid-20s at the time of the crime, so today, he should be in his mid-40s. The suspect is said to be an Hispanic man, weighing 150 to 180 pounds, standing 5 foot 5 inches tall, with black hair and a mustache.

If know anything that could help investigators, please call CrimeStoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

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