Richland Co. seeking public’s help in identifying suspect in murder of Jack Robinson back in 1996
New facial sketch aging technology allowed deputies to produce an updated sketch of the suspect
RICHLAND COUNTY, S.C. (WOLO) — The Richland County Sheriff’s Department needs your help in identifying a suspect in the murder of a Columbia man 24 years ago.
Authorities say Jack Robinson, 65, was stabbed and killed near a boat ramp near Rosewood Avenue back in August 1996. Witnesses saw the suspect, and a sketch was produced by deputies, but the case remains unsolved.
Prior to August 1996, Robinson, who grew up in the Olympia neighborhood of Columbia, served in the Air Force and also worked at the Moncrief Army Health Center at Fort Jackson.
Tammy Downs, Robinson’s daughter, remembers her dad as someone who kept to himself, but also as someone who enjoyed spending time with family.
“My dad was quiet, he could keep a secret,” Downs told ABC Columbia. “But at the same time, he could be very funny, he would tell a lot of jokes.”
On August 17, 1996, the Robinson family would receive news that still sticks with them today.
Authorities say the 65-year-old Robinson went to a boat ramp near Rosewood Drive, and started talking to a man between the ages of 25-35.
Witnesses told investigators later that day, Robinson emerged from a wooded area with stab wounds in his chest, ultimately passing away hours later.
Downs said the boat landing was in the same neighborhood her father grew up in, but said she does not know why her dad chose to go to the ramp that day.
Investigators have tried to identify reasons why Robinson went to the boat landing that August day, as well as his relationship with the man alleged to have stabbed him.
Flash forward to 2020, and Richland County investigators are still on the case. Now, deputies have a new tool at their disposal: an age-enhanced sketch that takes the original 1996 sketch of the suspect, and ages the face to match what the suspect could look like now.
“This particular situation is the first time we’ve used this new computer technology to enhance a composite sketch and also an age-progression of that, so we’re excited about the possibility it may lead us to identify him or give us a new lead just hearing the story once again,” said Lt. Kevin Isenhoward of the Richland County Sheriff’s Department.
Downs says she will not stop telling her dad’s story until someone gives them the name of the man who caused her family 24 years of pain. She says she posts about him often on social media, hoping one day someone comes forward and helps them solve the case.
“When you have somebody killed, it tears you apart, and it never leaves you,” Downs said. “So I just beg anybody that may know something to please call because I would like to have it solved.”
If you know the man in the sketch or have information about what happened that August day, call the Richland County Sheriff’s Department or Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME SC.