The Unfinished Carolina Cold Case: Where is Bill Black?

Tyler Ryan investigates the disappearance of a Kershaw County man in 2018 "Do the right thing," his brother says

KERSHAW SC (WOLO) — In August of 2018, Bill Black went missing in Kershaw County, and he has never been seen since, leaving family, friends, and investigators asking What Happened to Bill Black?

“He was a great man, he put smiles on everyone’s faces, and he would go without so that could make others happy,” Brandon Black, Bill’s son says about his father.  Brandon says that although growing up, he wasn’t very close with his Dad, in the months leading up to his disappearance, they had become close.  Brandon said that he was see his Dad weekly, enjoying fishing, listening to music, and even making some.  “We made a couple raps together,” adding “that was one of the last things we did together.”

Black was a long time resident of Kershaw County, specifically Camden, having moved there when he was in school.  According to Kershaw County Sheriff Lee Boan, although he was known to be homeless, he had been staying with his brother in Chester County, prior to returning to Camden in the summer of 2018.

Black family friend Ashley Brown said that when Bill’s brother, Alan brought him back to Camden, he dropped him off at a friends house on Pineview Street.  Tyler Ryan spoke with homeowner, who confirmed that Bill was living there, for the most part, indicating that he would come and go.  Ryan also spoke with Bill’s longtime girlfriend who said “one day he left, and never showed back up.”

Sheriff Boan pointed out that fact that he didn’t have a specific permanent home has made it challenging for Investigators to pinpoint where Bill was when he was last seen, when specifically he was, or even who he was with.  Alan Black, Bill’s brother first reported him missing after not hearing from him for about six weeks, which was uncommon, as they would talk at least weekly.  “At first I thought maybe he was working or doing his own thing for a little bit. After a while, I knew something was wrong,” Alan said.

Many people that we talked to in this cold case investigation believe it was on or about August 14 2018 that he was last seen.  Brown added that she had heard several people say he was seen on McRae Road in Camden, walking with a friend.  She said that for the week prior to his disappearance, he had been in police custody for a minor criminal charge.

The Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office, along with several other agencies, investigated any leads that came in surrounding Bill’s disappearance, including searches in East Camden, various ponds and swamps, and utilized cadaver dogs in an effort to locate Bill, however, continued to have no luck.

Sheriff Boan said that the investigation did lead them to the friendship Bill had with the person he was reportedly walking with when he may have been last seen.  According the Sheriff, they “hung around each other, they knew each other, they had their ups and downs. Bill did have some health issues, and if they had gotten into an argument, if they gotten into a fight or something, it wouldn’t have taken much for Bill to succumb to his injuries.”

Police reports indicate that witnesses had heard about an altercation between Bill and the person who had been developed into a suspect.  Unfortunately, lead to a dead end, as on September 18, 2019, the suspect was killed “execution style,” according to Bill’s girlfriend.  The murder lead to the arrests of six people who were involved, including the conviction of a man referred to as a “hit man.”  Sheriff Boan said after the murder, “This person is no longer here, this suspect’s no longer here. Someone could come forward, tell us what happened, tell us where Bill’s at. We can’t charge nobody who is no longer with us,”  hoping that with the suspect gone, people may be less afraid to come forward with information. Boan points out that more accurate leads or solid answers, however, that has yet to happen.

Sheriff Boan also says that as of now, it is still a “missing person” case, not a murder investigation, however concedes that Bill may be dead.  “even bad news is closure,” Sheriff Boan says, “even bad news would be a lot better then they are right now.”

Although the case is considered cold, by some standards, Sheriff Boan says the case is very active, stating “This case is not closed.  It will never be closed, as long as I am Sheriff.”

As far as Bill’s family, they hope and pray that all these years later, someone will come forward.

Brandon says “At this point, someone needs to come forward.  It’s probably eating at them and it’s eating at a lot of people.  It would be a lot easier to have all this solved, a final conclusion so that we can just cope and move on with life.”

“Having Bill and bringing him home, laying him to rest in a respectable manner will give the family some closure,” Alan says, “Clear your conscience. Come forward. Be a good person. Do the right thing.”

If you have any information, please contact the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office, or Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME SC.





Tyler Ryan is an award winning television and radio personality, writer, investigative journalist, and professional emcee.  He appears daily on ABC Columbia’s Good Morning Columbia, as well as hosting the syndicated radio program Carolina Cares on the South Carolina Radio Network, and the iHeart Radio Network.  Tyler also regularly appears as a criminal expert and journalist on regional and national crime based programs like Snapped and Killer Couples.  You can contact him directly via EMAIL Or on the socials: Tyler’s Instagram  // Tyler’s Facebook

Tyler also co-founded The Unfinished Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization that works with the families and victims of unsolved homicides and missing person cases.  The group provides resources, advocacy, and investigations at little or no charge to the families.

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