Man arrested, accused of raping and killing woman in 1976 in Chester Co., S.C.

Man arrested, accused of raping and killing woman in 1976 in Chester Co., S.C.
Man arrested, accused of raping and killing woman in 1976 in Chester Co. (Source: Chester County Sheriff's Office)

CHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WBTV) - A man has been arrested and is accused of raping a woman before killing her in 1976 in Chester County.

Agents from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division Thursday arrested and charged 65-year-old Charles Ugvine Coleman with the 1976 murder and rape of Elizabeth Ann Howell Wilson.

On March 20, 1976, Ann Wilson, 45, went missing during her shift while working as a spinner at the Eureka Plant of Spring Mills in Chester.

Her body and stolen vehicle was found later in Fairfield County near the intersection of Ashford Ferry Road and Dave Jenkins Road in Blair.

Officials say she had been sexually assaulted, strangled and beaten.

SLED, in partnership with the Chester County Sheriff’s Office and the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office, continued to work the case for years in hopes of solving the case and bringing closure for the Wilson family.

A recent forensics breakthrough identified Coleman, through DNA, was involved in the crime.

“Our Agents and forensics experts' work hard and are dedicated to bringing justice to those who commit crimes against our citizens,” said SLED Chief Mark Keel. “Whether the crime was recent or happened more than 40 years ago, we will not stop in trying to solve the case. I appreciate the teamwork showed by everyone in helping bring closure to the Wilson family.”

Chester County Sheriff Max Dorsey also provided a statement about the investigation.

“We would like to thank SLED for their invaluable assistance in solving this case. Their investigative and forensic resources were absolutely essential in identifying Ms. Wilson’s killer. We appreciate their hard work and tenacity and partnering with us to bring to light important evidence that led to this arrest. This arrest today shows my Office’s commitment to use any and all resources available in order to solve crimes that happen in Chester County, no matter how old they are. It is our duty to crime victims and their families, and to all citizens of Chester County.” Dorsey said.

Coleman was booked at the Fairfield County Detention Center.

If anyone has information that can further assist in this investigation, please contact SLED at (803) 896-2605.

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