Fort Stewart Soldier Murdered - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

08/20/03

Fort Stewart Soldier Murdered

A Fort Stewart soldier was found murdered in her home in Hinesville Sunday. Neighbors are in a panic, wondering if they could be next. Jaymie Lewis had only lived on Brantley Drive in Hinesville a few weeks in March, when she met Lakeitha Sims, the nicest person in the neighborhood.

"I thought she was in the Army and had gone to the field, then we went up the road Sunday and it baffled me," she said.

That's when Sims' relatives and police found her dead inside her home. Family came from Sumter, South Carolina, when she didn't come to a gathering there Saturday. A cousin crawled in the window to find the woman dead and her child in the house. Neighbors want to know why.

"I kind of try to find out all I can so I can feel safer, and I can go to bed feeling safe in my house," said neighbor Debbi Nickerson.

But police tell us there's not much they can say. Yes, the 20-year-old was murdered, but they think the crime was isolated and not a random killer on the loose. "We're investigating as possibly someone she knew that she let into the house, not someone random burglarizing the house," Maj. Thomas Cribbs of the Hinesville police.

Debbi and Jaymie hope others nearby will help them start a neighborhood watch. They'll still feel a lot better when the killer is caught.

The child is in good health with her grandparents. Maj. Cribbs says they're working several leads, including some out of state. If anyone has any information, he asks they call the Hinesville police.

Reported by: Dal Cannady, dcannady@wtoc.com

 

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