On February 4, 1977, 39-year-old James Homer Aldridge was found dead in his pickup truck on the side of SC 170.
At the scene, South Carolina Highway Patrol troopers and Sheriff’s Office deputies believed that Aldridge died from the impact after his pickup truck left the road and collided with a tree.
It was not realized until after Aldridge’s body was removed from the scene that he had sustained a gunshot wound, prior to his pickup truck striking the tree. Based on the location of the wound, it was determined that the gunshot was fired from the passenger side of Aldridge’s vehicle.
Investigators looked into Aldridge’s shooting death and learned that he frequently drove to Jacksonville, Florida from his Beaufort home for work and may have picked up hitchhikers during his travels.
No suspects were identified.