Simpsonville police work Cassandra Johnson cold case - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Simpsonville police work Cassandra Johnson cold case

A family photo of Cassandra Johnson. (Source: Robbie Davis) A family photo of Cassandra Johnson. (Source: Robbie Davis)

On Sept. 22, 1984, singer John Waite had the no. 1 song in the country Missing You. The movie The Karate Kid kicked its way to a blockbuster hit. And regular unleaded gas was about $1.20 a gallon in the country.

But on that same September day, a jogger's morning run off Georgia Road in Simpsonville ended when he found a body near a wooded area. The scene was behind an Ingles Grocery Store, and the victim was 20-year-old Cassandra Johnson.

"We know it was a violent rape and murder," Johnson's mother Robbie Davis said.

Davis said she is still heartbroken over her daughter's death, but finds comfort in her faith.

"In the end, God is going to take care of it all," Davis said.

Investigators said a killer stabbed Johnson 27 times. Sept. 22 was a Saturday, but that Friday night, Johnson went to a Hillcrest High School football game to see her brother play.

She was a college student but home for the weekend. Her mother said after the game she stopped home, then left again to meet some friends. However, it was the last time Davis ever saw her daughter alive.

"I would like to see it done now - that was one thing I wanted to see. I want it to be done before I'm buried," Davis said.

And now, nearly 30 years later, investigators are looking into a twist in the case. It's one Davis calls cold and wicked.

"And just to think you know that people are so lowdown, people who are supposed to protect us are hurting us," Davis said.

A former Simpsonville police officer, Lt. Ralph Bobo, was arrested in connection to the cold case. Davis said she remembers Bobo's words while he worked her daughter's homicide case.

"'I make myself a promise that I was going to solve that case because I knew them personally' - lies," Davis said.

South Carolina Law Enforcement Division agents arrested him and charged him with obstruction of justice and misconduct in office. Investigators said he destroyed physical evidence in the case.

But Simpsonville Police Chief Steve Moore said investigators are still digging through the case file and working the cold case.

"It's the most important thing for us - is that we're able to identify a suspect so that we can bring closure to the family, so they can have peace of mind," Moore said.

FOX Carolina uncovered exclusive information in the case. Investigators said they had a warrant for an inmate in North Carolina, and he's still in prison now. But police said there wasn't enough evidence to move forward.

"A lot of leads are also over 30 years old. It makes it more difficult to follow up on cases when the leads aren't hot, and the scene is different, too," Moore said.

"Back in 1984, the road configuration was different there. The Ingles is no longer there, and the roadways are no longer in existence," Moore said.

And Moore said trying to figure out a motive is difficult, too.

"Someone could've seen something that night. They may have heard something later they thought was insignificant. But all information about this case would be significant to us at this point," Moore said.

If you have information about the case, you're asked to call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

Copyright 2013 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.