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New details in Columbus County assault case

READ MORE: New details in Columbus County assault case
A new development in the case of Ida Smith, the 85-year-old Bolton woman whose family says she was brutally attacked last October. The Columbus County Sheriffs Department closed the case, saying the woman's injuries were the result of a fall, but reopened its case after WWAY's story last week. We reviewed hospital documents and family testimony that claimed Ms. Smith's injuries were consistent with a brutal sexual attack. Unfortunately, Ms. Smith suffers from dementia and can only remember having been hurt. We ran an update to the story last night about the difficulties encountered by the family during this investigation. A viewer who saw that story contacted us, saying her family knows who attacked Ms. Smith. NewsChannel 3 has been checking out their story and found it to be credible. The person who called says a member of her family has been acquainted with the men who attacked Ms. Smith for more than five years. The family does not want to be identified because they are friends and fear retaliation. The source who called NewsChannel 3 says two men bragged about assaulting an elderly lady in Bolton the same time Ms. Smith was attacked. The source found out, after watching our story last night, that a family member knew the men who claim they committed the crime. WWAY was told that the two men admitted to the assault a couple of months after it took place. The source says they did not come forward because they thought the men had been apprehended for the crime. One of the men the source identified has a prior conviction of assault against a woman. He was convicted in February of this year for an incident that occurred in May of 2007. After contacting NewsChannel 3, our source called the Columbus County Sheriffs Department and gave them a detailed statement, but wishes to remain anonymous out of fear of retribution by the alleged attackers. We called the Columbus County Sheriffs Department for a reaction, but our calls have not been returned. But, the district attorney, Rex Gore, did return our call and said that he is confident the sheriff will investigate the lead and that he will encourage the sheriff to do so. If you have any information, call the Columbus County Sheriff's Department at (910) 642-6551.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


Columbus County Assault

Kudos to WWAY-TV for their hard work on this story in service to the community! I was skeptical when reading the story at first that the criminals would ever be identified. You refused to treat this families seemingly outrageous claims with racism or prejudice as many of us automatically do. This poor lady is elderly, African-American and has dementia. Thank you for looking out for the little people, you gave a voice to the voiceless! You got the authorities and the public working on this horrible crime. I wish more media outlets would do the same. You are true journalists.

Well Well Well

Good job boys, you let an entire community down by not investigating this crime. Hopefully the people of Columbus County will rid you all. You don't deserve to wear a badge and call yourselves law enforcement. Each of you should be ashamed. Get this scumb behind bars.....


Oh, so the family members who know who did this are not to blame in any way for not identifying them. It's really hard to "prove" this case without someone being able to testify since the victim can't. Get real......put some of the blame smack dab where it belongs.....not all of it is because of LEO's.