20-Year-Old Spartanburg Cold Case Solved

After twenty years  Myoung Hwa Cho and her son Bobby Whitt have been identified and their murders have been solved.

After twenty years Myoung Hwa Cho and her son Bobby Whitt have been identified and their murders have been solved.

Julianna Crawford, Staff Reporter

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Solving cold cases can be a difficult task. That was the dilemma facing the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s office for the last twenty years. On May 13th, 1998, the sheriff’s office responded to Casual Drive and North Blackstock Road due to the discovery of a deceased female body. Found nude in the woods with ligature marks on her wrists, the unidentified Asian woman’s death was ruled a homicide by suffocation. Deputies placed the case in the National Missing and Unidentified Person System (NamUs) and spent the next twenty years following every lead in order to identify the victim to no avail. That was until December 2018, when Spartanburg County received a call from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina that the information entered into NamUs seemed similar to a case of a juvenile Asian boy found 4 months after the Spartanburg victim. Using ancestral DNA the deputies discovered that the victims, both found off of I-85 frontage roads, were mother and son. With the help of the Korean National Police and INTERPOL, the victims were identified as Myoung Hwa Cho and her 10-year-old son Robert “Bobby” Adam Whitt. The husband and father of the victims who is currently serving time for unrelated federal convictions has confessed to carrying out both homicides within a few months of each other.

The completion of this case was especially meaningful for Major Tim Horne of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. As one of his first cases upon joining the homicide team the case of the unidentified 10-year-old boy haunted him for decades. Major Horne even kept the case box underneath his desk so that every time his leg touched the box he would remember the boy. Having solved the biggest case of his career Major Tim Horne retired the day the case broke to the media. He has also been in contact with the family of the deceased and will personally deliver their remains to their loved ones sometime this month.