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Leads dwindle as search continues for Laster

The Freddie Grant cases

Posted: September 18, 2012 5:42 p.m.
Updated: September 19, 2012 5:00 a.m.

The Elgin Police Department (EPD) has little grounds to charge Freddie Grant in the case of a missing Elgin woman from Florida. Grant is thought to be connected with the disappearance of Adriana Laster, 28, last seen in September 2011. EPD Chief Harold Brown has previously confirmed that Laster lived with Grant before she disappeared.

Grant is being held at the Lexington County Detention Center on a federal weapons violation charge which arose from an investigation by the Richland County Sheriff’s Department (RCSD) into the alleged kidnapping of teenager Gabrielle “Gabbiee” Swainson, who is still missing. A warrant has been drawn on kidnapping charges but has not been served on Grant. The Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) is also looking at Grant in connection with the October 2011 shooting death of Daniel Wood of Lugoff.

Brown said DNA evidence has come back conclusively showing that Laster lived with Grant at some point -- something investigators expected. Laster’s address is listed as Grant’s home, 1009 Kelly St., on several police incident reports. Brown said the DNA results only confirm what his department has reported as opposed to bringing new information to the case.

The DNA is from samples taken from Grant’s home during a warranted search conducted by the EPD.

Brown said the EPD recently met with the 5th Circuit Solicitor’s Office to see where things stand in terms of pressing charges. He said the results of the meeting were not surprising.

“There is not enough evidence to take legal action (against Grant) right now,” Brown said.

That doesn’t mean the EPD is giving up. Brown said that while leads into Laster’s disappearance have slowed, he is still encouraging the public to contact the police with information on any of the Grant cases.

Those with information on Laster’s disappearance can call the EPD at 438-9917. To speak with a KCSO investigator about Wood’s death, call 425-1512. Information on Gabbiee Swainson’s kidnapping can be given to the RCSD at (803) 576-3000.

“Hopefully we will get some new leads,” said Brown.

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